Airbnb fined €8m by Paris court in a bid to stamp out illegal listings

2 Jul 2021

Image: © Xiongmao/Stock.adobe.com

The city’s deputy mayor, Ian Brossat, called it a ‘wonderful win for Parisians’.

A Paris court has fined rental marketplace Airbnb, saying the company failed to comply with local rental listing regulations.

The court ordered a fine of €8m after officials found more than 1,000 listings in the city that did not have a registration number, which is required by law.

The decision by the court comes following years of strife between Airbnb and the city of Paris. In 2017, city officials implemented the registration model for holiday rentals along with a cap on listings of 120 nights a year.

When these regulations came in, the mayoral office asked Airbnb to delist about 1,000 properties that were not properly registered, and in 2019 the city sued the company for €12m over listings that did not comply with the regulations.

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Paris deputy mayor Ian Brossat, who is in charge of housing, called the court’s decision this week “a wonderful win for Parisians”.

“This is the first time in France that a local government wins a case against a tech giant,” he added. “The responsibility of platforms is finally recognised.”

Airbnb told news agency AFP that 95pc of its listings in Paris last year were reserved for less than 120 nights, and that “the vast majority of nights booked in entire Parisian accommodations were in previously registered accommodations, or who benefited from an exemption from registration”.

The company will now require Paris landlords to prove their rentals have been registered with the city, and will extend this to other French cities including Bordeaux, Lyon and Marseilles.

Airbnb has faced criticism in Paris and other cities over its impact on housing markets. In Ireland, regulations around short-term rentals came into effect in 2019, but there have been calls for stricter enforcement of these rules.

Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

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