Airbnb are in hot water in France after the City of Paris accused the online peer-to-peer home rental giants of breaching local laws regarding its listings. According to the Parisian authorities, Airbnb and two smaller companies; Paris Attitude and Wimdu, have ignored legislation that requires all advertised properties to include official registration numbers.
Paris are one of numerous cities worldwide to introduce tougher restrictions on short-term property rentals. Since November 2017, individuals are not permitted to let out their property for more than 120 days per year. In order to ensure individuals adhere to the 120-day limit, all properties must display a unique registration number.
Airbnb, Paris Attitude and Wimdu have all been accused of failing to remove properties from their respective sites that do not possess the registration numbers required. An estimated 43,000 ads are believed to be affected.
Ian Brossat, the Assistant Housing Commissioner for the City of Paris, said:
“Airbnb, as well as Paris Attitude and Wimdu, will be served a summons this Thursday or Friday to appear before the Paris district court at 9:30am on June 12.”
Labelling the pending Court hearing as “disappointing”, an Airbnb statement responded:
“The regulation of holiday rentals in Paris is complex, confusing and more suited to professionals than individuals.”
Airbnb continued, “We encourage Paris to follow the path of other cities such as London, Berlin and Barcelona, with whom we have worked efficiently on common-sense measures to promote responsible furnished tourist rentals.”
This is not the first time that the controversial online marketplace has been in trouble with local authorities. Earlier this month, two Airbnb hosts were handed a $45,800 fine in Singapore for unauthorised short-term letting. If found guilty in Paris, Airbnb could face a fine of up to €5,000 per day, per ad.
The French market represents Airbnb’s biggest outside the US. The firm is seen as a major threat to the hotel industry in Paris with 65,000 listed properties compared to just 80,000 hotel rooms.