It’s happening. Paris could see a big crackdown on Airbnb, as a Paris city council member has called for short-term rentals of whole apartments to be banned from the First, Second, Third and Fourth Arrondissements of the French capital.
Deputy mayor and housing adviser Ian Brossat fears the effect of people buying apartments or entire buildings only to turn them into “cash machines” through tourist rentals.
“Airbnb threatens the soul and identity of a number of neighbourhoods,” Brossat told French daily newspaper Le Parisien. “We can not remain inert in this situation. All the big cities of the world are facing this problem. If we do not regulate Airbnb, we will no longer have inhabitants in our city centers.”
According to Le Parisien, around 65,000 apartments in Paris are listed on the home-sharing website, with a rental average of EUR 119.50 a night. There’s already an annual 120-day threshold enforced for Paris listings. “One Parisian out of five currently uses Airbnb to top up their income and cope with living costs,” Airbnb told AFP.
“One residence out of every four no longer houses Parisians,” Brossat said. “Do we want Paris to be a city which the middle classes can afford, or do we want it to be a playground for Saudi or American billionaires?”
The affected arrondissements have a number of popular attractions, including the Louvre, Tuileries Gardens, Pont Neuf, Place Vendôme and Notre-Dame Cathedral. The iconic Eiffel Tower is in the 7th Arrondissement, in case you were wondering.
In June, Airbnb removed 80% of its listings in Japan to comply with a new law which requires home owners to register their properties with the government, and which limits them to 180 rental days a year. Cities and countries all over the world, including Singapore, New York City, Vancouver and Amsterdam, also have strict regulations regarding platforms like Airbnb.