Paris Vacation Rentals in 2015

Old Aug 10th, 2014, 09:07 AM
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Plain language is what is called for in these expensive transactions. I wouldn't trust anybody who is representing a business whose first concern is to try to prevent other people from using straight talk to alert other travelers that they might be supporting illegal activity and have their vacation lodging disappear out from under them.

It is also not an issue of your personal "comfort zone". If you are personal friends with the owners of an agency, obviously your personal "comfort zone" is a lot cozier than if you are dealing as a stranger with a company incorporated in Singapore. (business address of Paris Perfect is 80 Robinson Road #02-00 Singapore 068898.)


The current law in Paris is straightforward, and any rental agency purporting to deal only in legal apartment rentals should be able to provide you with a copy of the authorization from Paris authorities to rent the apartment under commercial rental laws. Absent that authorization, any neighbor or investigator can report the illegality to French authorities and get the rental shut down. If you've booked that apartment, you won't be able to stay there. If the agency only deals in illegal rentals, then you will be running the same risk with any other apartment they offer as a substitute.

It is really very simple: Ask the rental agency to send you a copy of the legalization documents for the specific apartment they are renting. It is your vacation. You don't owe it to other people's friends and "nice talk" on the Internet not to question the business practices of agencies renting hugely expensive apartments who demand payment well in advance to secure them. You have rights.
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Old Aug 10th, 2014, 09:13 AM
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One thing I forgot to mention, is that several rental agencies and individuals will now require the client to sign a one-year lease, which will be torn up at the end of their stay, however many days or weeks that might have been.

This is a creative dodge around the law, since 1 year leases of furnished apartments are indeed legal. However, phony leases are not.

If someone asks you to sign a year's lease for your vacation, you are not protected, and the practice is not legal.
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Old Aug 10th, 2014, 09:58 AM
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The 15th is not way out (except maybe around the peripherique) and is a fairly desirable area, IMO (where the Adagio is, which isn't far from the border of the 7th). I like that location myself. But I also think $450 a night is a lot for a 2 BR apt n that building, I'm surprised it's that much as I thought I had seen that type 2 BR place for less than $300 a night there. Although at the current exchange rate, that is only about 325 euro, now that I think of it. There isn't any way in the world you could stay at the Ritz or Four Seasons in Paris for that price, however, for five people, so I think you may not realize the price of luxury hotels in Paris (a double room may be 1000 euro and that is only for 3 people max).
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Old Aug 10th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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Hr
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Old Aug 10th, 2014, 03:41 PM
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Christina - I stated the US when I commented on the cost of a luxury hotel. And I know that 5 can't sleep in a single room I was making a point about the cost of a trip to Paris for a family.

We'll just have to see how far this law goes and if anything actually gets done. As with most things to do with government I expect to see slow progress.

My family will just continue to plan our next trip to France without time in Paris.
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 04:07 AM
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Just as an update; I checked and the last few of the Paris Perfect apartments are completing their commercial status now, so they all will be completely legal. I stay in them so are the only ones that I am really concerned about or can answer re the legality question for. I am sure that other companies are the same.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2014, 01:10 PM
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Kerouac and Manouche (and anyone else on the ground there in Paris)... Topping to hear how the city is escalating. There were a couple of comments recently here that by summer 2015 essentially all rentals will be gone. Most of them are clearly (and have for years), at least in terms of the laws, illegal--even if they have always been tolerated. The question now really seems to be one of enforcement, which is what seems to be escalating.

I watch this topic closely... As I love staying in apartments when I travel (especially Paris)... But also because I'm curious to see how it plays out.

Paris like much of Europe always had a very long standing tradition (legal or not) of house sharing, gites, pied a terres, etc. I can't help but feel a bit like Air bnb came along and ruined a good thing. They sort of threw it all over a tipping point.

Anyway, I guess I'm wondering if there's a sense that listings will just gradually disappear? NY has cracked down hard on the practice and yet you still see listings on vrbo in Manhattan.

And then again, I've seen quite a few blogs, articles, and comments online (from both US and France including many owners) expressing hope that some sort of compromise can be made to enable some rentals to become compliant. It seems almost incredible to me that rentals in Paris would completely cease... Not the least of which from an enforcement standpoint. But there's clearly a growing sentiment that this is what the city and residents of Paris want.

Unfortunately my next trip in 2015 I won't be staying long enough to rent an apartment (4 days). I might have the option of staying in an apartment owned by a family friend, but i have a backup hotel booked until I know her plans. And even then ... Do I have to fear her neighbors will report her?

Would love to hear your thoughts.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2014, 01:58 PM
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We have our apartment rented with www.specialapartments.com in early July, 2015.

You can listen to comments for so long and then need to make a decision.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2014, 02:44 PM
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I really do not think that all apartment rentals are going to cease. It is perfectly legal for residents to rent their apartments up to 4 months of the year so there will always be a number of apartments available.

None the less, enforcement has begun on entities who rent large numbers of apartments which have not been set up as commercial properties. In some cases, neighbors who have grown wherry of transients their buildings have contacted authorities with complaints. Many of these complaints have been followed up on by the city.

I would make every attempt to deal with owners directly when possible. there will always be apartments available for vacation rentals but perhaps fewer of them will be available in the future.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2014, 08:05 PM
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It is just so baffling and curious when the section of the Official Website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, ParisInfo,

…parisinfo.com/where-to-sleep-in-paris/appar…

where there are four pages of "A choice of furnished apartments for 1 week or 1 month - Specialist agencies, with a knowledge of the rules and regulations applicable to this activity, offer you a whole list of addresses to assist you in your choice of accommodation: in different neighbourhoods and a variety of sizes or styles - check their offers out now. You can rent a studio or an apartment for a week up to a year… The price covers the basic rental, but also additional services which can come in very handy: baby-sitting, laundry and dry-cleaning, self-catering or room service and private transfers from the airport. It is also possible to proceed to an exchange of apartment."

Go figure.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 03:09 AM
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Unfortunately, the Paris government-related websites are often not up-dated as frequently as they should be. No excuses for this, it's just a fact - as anyone who has had to deal with renewing visas or permits can readily attest to...

I would not say that there is any date written in stone, regarding the End Of Rental Apartments In Paris. But I can say for certain that progress is on-going. If you rely on other people's past experience, you are taking a risk, plain and simple.

I have friends who are selling their pieds-a-terre (in the 8th and the 6th arrondissements) that they have been renting for several years, because their coop boards have made their lives miserable and have threatened to sue them for violating the coop rules, which prohibit short-term rentals and sublets (which most buildings adhere to).

I know two people in the Marais who have been renting several places (via VRBO) for many years - both of them were visited by the Mayor's task force in November, and both of them had to pull their properties off the market, had to appear before the Mayor and pay substantial fines. One plans to appeal - but still cannot rent any of her properties - the other is selling.

Adrian Leeds is selling several properties and concentrating her business in the South of France. She too, enjoyed a visit from the task force - and also had repeated run-ins with her neighbors, who probably reported her.

There are a couple of well-known agencies - with lots of supporters on forums such as this - who claim that "we own all the apartments in the building, so they are legal." Well, unless the building has been converted to commercial tax status,and they have constructed new housing of the same size somewhere in Paris, this is not true. In addition, just because someone claims to own an apartment does not make it legal - and owner must actually live in the apartment full-time. There are a lot of people who are not interested in telling you the truth, especially when their income depends on it.

At lunch yesterday, I sat next to an American couple and their 2 adult sons, who had just arrived in Paris that morning and had rented through Homelidays. They were unhappy that they had to move to another part of town, since their apartment wasn't available when they arrived. They ended up near Gare du Lyon in a small 1-bdrm with a sofabed, rather than a 2-bdrm near Place des Vosges. They were trying to decide if they should move to a hotel, where at least they would have enough heat and hot water - neither of which were working well enough to suit them in the new apartment.

Our coop board just held its annual meeting, and voted to sue the owners of two very active short-term rentals in our building. 4 years ago, the board began asking politely, but this has escalated over the years into a lawsuit. In most instances, with the assistance of the Mayor's task force, things will not take as long as it did in our building.

So, although things are not zooming along at warp speed, and not every agency or individual owner is being affected at the moment, owners and renters are definitely feeling the results. I would recommend not making any long-range plans for a rental in Paris.

It's just time to re-think how and where you will go on vacation. People - even families with kids to feed - always managed before apartments became available in Paris (or anywhere else). It's entirely possible and not that difficult to do. You just have to start looking in a different direction.

HomeAway is credited with the slogan "Live Like A Local" - it's a marketing tool that has made them rich. This company has always flouted the law (especially condo regulations and neighborhood restrictions on short-term rentals) and many of its clients accept payment in cash, which is not reported to the tax authorities. Some people might want to think about that.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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Interesting info. I also found it confusing when I knew the Paris Tourist Office website listed apt rental agencies, although there are some legitimate cases, as noted.

As noted, life will go on, back in the day no one rented apts from people when they traveled. My parents took us kids a lot of places (4 of us) and we didn't stay in apts.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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Wow, thank you Manouche and others for sharing your point of view. It's an interesting dialog. Manouche is right... probably most of the renters from the US are not living in high-density cooperative apartment buildings and may not understand the impact that a short term rental can have on permanent residents. I live in a free-standing home in the suburbs, yet I can see it from the neighbors' perspective... I would certainly not want the visitors to an apartment in my building turning over every 7 days. Especially if those visitors were also noisy.

We have a tremendous problem in nearby San Francisco... there is a huge backlash going on right now against Air BnB. There's also a huge backlash against anything or anyone that smacks of the 1%.

I also think that AirBnB took a reasonable practice that most people seemed to tolerate, and made it explode, exponentially, over a short window of time. I read one statistic that prior to AirBnB, the largest listing service (like a HomeAway) had perhaps 2000 active Paris listings. AirBnB alone had, at one point, over 25,000 Paris options. I'm definitely *not* a fan of AirBnB and I think they accelerated the demise of vacation rentals in Paris and other popular cities.

As a renter, I'll miss the apartment experience... I have 2 children and a huge love of shopping the markets and relaxing in an apartment with a home cooked meal and wine. It will be a disappointment to me that my favorite venue for accommodations is very likely going to become unavailable, if not in 2015 then at some point in the future.

I did see one blog post from Adrian Leeds from about a year ago inciting fury over the crackdowns, indicating that owners have a right to rent out and renters have a right to affordable vacation homes. That seems like such an obnoxious thing to say. I don't know whether owners in France have such rights, but I certainly don't feel I'm owed any right to affordable vacation homes when I visit one of the most expensive cities in Europe. As I'm always telling my kids, there's a huge difference between *want* and *need*.

It's also really interesting to hear how this new enforcement is affecting the lives of many people who bought their pieds-a-terre with the expectation of using the rentals to support the cost of ownership. Like Manouche's friends, I have a family friend, a French couple with an apartment in the 10th, may have to leave Paris for a new job. They'll now have to decide whether to sell the home they love, or risk running it as a vacation rental illegally so they can manage to keep it until they're able to return to Paris.

And over the years I've become casually friendly with a real estate agent we used years ago for accommodations. She represented high end clients in the property sale, and managed many of the listings for short term holiday rentals. I've seen her rental portfolio dwindle from a few dozen to just a few. Many of her clients began selling their properties in 2010 when this issue of enforcement started to crop up.

The irony in all of this is that many of these vacation rentals are in very upscale neighborhoods and are not remotely what someone might call "affordable housing" .... which is one of the purported goals of the crackdown.

The cynical side of me suspects there's a lot of politics and lobbying from Hotels at play in this enforcement.

And the optimistic side of me secretly hopes for some sort of compromise to be made, some way for the city to save face and allow them to begin collecting a tax or certifying owners willing to jump through some manner of hoops. I am starting to see this sentiment of wishful thinking on several blogs of property owners in US and in France.

I guess only time will tell. But it's good advice that Kerouac offers here on Fodors to really think hard about making reservations in 2015 without knowing the risks.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 06:42 PM
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It will be very interesting to see what happens. I can see there are many sides of this difficult issue.

Perhaps apartment prices will become more reasonable? I may have to play the lottery a bit more often.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 08:51 PM
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Skatterfly: I am <u>totally</u> w/ you re airbnb. Talk about unintended consequences. Get greedy and ruin a long standing practice.

But don't <i>dare</i> saying a word against airbnb. There are 4 or 5 Fodorites who are basically acolytes, who will dump all over you for disagreeing.

I've actually met one of these airbnb "cult members" at a GTG and we had a semi friendly relationship. But once I posted that I'm not a fan - no more

NYC is a lost cause of course . . . But hopefully the Paris authorities can work out a system to allow <i>some</i> form of short term rental. Paying local hotel tax would go a long way.

I've rented from two different owners who bought flats for their children to use while they attended university in the 5th and after they left school the flats were rented out. I don't know for sure but assume both are off the rental market.
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Old Dec 5th, 2014, 01:01 AM
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I bought my apartment in 2007, and was told by the seller and real estate agent that I could do anything I wanted with it - including any remodelling work and renting short term. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I found out when I read the rules of the co-propriete - given to me after the sale.

I wanted to move my kitchen to another room, but was told that this would impact the plumbing for two other apartments, so it was not allowed. I also planned on renting short-term, until I could live in France full-time, but was told that it was not allowed. There are even restrictions on the type, size and color of planters that are allowed on our little balconies - though at least I have the right to choose what color geraniums I plant. None of this is uncommon.

In fact, the co-propriete has the final say in anything that an owner does with his property - and will take much faster action than the Police or the Mayor's Office. They'll be successful, too. This concept of "my property really belongs to the community living in the building and is part of the patrimony of Paris" is really hard for Americans to accept, and very difficult to live with.

In addition, most agents and sellers will not tell a prospective buyer that he will have to contribute to the "ravalement" of the building - cleaning and repair of the exterior, ordered by the Mayor's office once every 10 to 20 years. This is based on the surface area of the exterior, is divided among all the owners (according to the size of their property), and can amount to a huge chunk of change, as it did in my case...

Because of these and other reasons, many people who purchased apartments with the idea of renting them until they could retire to Paris are changing their minds. Also, the FATCA banking act has put the kabosh on Americans who accept payments outside of France - as a result, many people are selling. Other Europeans, who aren't subject to the FATCA scrutiny, are snapping up fully-furnished apartments, and they continue to rent them. But anyone who has a listing on the internet can be targeted, especially if they list multiple properties. The Mayor's task force spends most of its time trolling the web.

I could go on, but - caveat emptor.
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Old Mar 31st, 2015, 01:35 AM
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Hi,This information quite helpful for me.I want to know more about vacation rentals in paris.
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Old Mar 31st, 2015, 10:40 AM
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What do you want to know about them?
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 01:42 PM
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I was just sent the contract for a 5 night stay in July 2016 at Chateau Latour, a Paris Perfect apartment. My deposit is due tomorrow if I want to book it. After reading this thread, I'm totally re-thinking my decision. I'm traveling with my husband and 2 kids, so really wanted 2 bedrooms with a view in the 7th, a kitchen and a washer/dryer. Can't get that in a hotel.

Any updates on Paris Perfect? Am I still taking a risk? Should I go with a hotel meaning I'll need to book a suite at way more cost?
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Old Aug 1st, 2015, 02:44 PM
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Is your hesitation because of the crackdown? If so, I wouldn't worry about it. Paris Perfect has enough apartments to re-house you if anything did go sideways, which I highly doubt it will... I'd keep the rental, but that's just my opinion.
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