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A realtor in the Marais sounds off

Another part of the short term rental discussion

A Marais realtor who has been specializing for over a decade in the sale of properties primarily in the Marais to be let out for short term rentals now feels the pinch when her Marais neighborhood is lost and becomes tourist central. Her complaints are important because they register perfectly what Paris residents and the city have tried to point out . . . the loss of neighborhood businesses because of the loss of neighbors. Ironic that she should now be suffering. The below is from her blog today and is quoted directly.

" In the last few years, the merchants such as the hardware store or hair salon that really serviced the residents have bit the dust while the frivolous that cater to tourists have flourished, and surprisingly, most of them are focused on selling sugar. Just how many pastry, cookie, cake, cupcake, macaron, chocolate, ice cream vendors etc., etc., etc., do we need in place of the butchers, the bakers and the candlestick makers?
The answer is NONE. That doesn't seem to stop them from proliferating and I really don't get why"

Posted by
11437 posts

Did you translate that.. it seems very odd... like the Realtor is not french.. Its not the sentiments expressed but the language used.. "bit the dust" ..

Posted by
775 posts

"like the Realtor is not french"

No translation . . . .quoted directly as stated . . .and inside of quotes too.

Posted by
372 posts

Can you post the original source? I'd like to read the whole article.

Posted by
983 posts

It’s Adrian Leeds.
She’s an American ex-pat and one of the hosts on House Hunters International.

Posted by
546 posts

Aha! A truly reliable source...Right. I also think that her representation of the Marais is not that accurate. It is much more complex than that.

Further if you are part of House Hunters International spreading the word of how wonderful living in _______ (fill in the blank) arent you by definition part of the problem she is railing against? What incredible hypocrisy.

Posted by
1109 posts

Quite ironic that this is coming from Adrian Leeds.

However, I finally agree with her. The noticeable loss of les petits métiers is very sad, particularly in the Marais, Quartier Latin, and Saint Germain. I understand that there still is a rémouleur walking the streets of the 7th arrondissement, ringing his bell to announce his passage, and rolling his sharpening stone down the street.

Posted by
2525 posts

The full impact of short-term rentals in my little city is very significant. The loss of rentals for workers is huge. Only 50 of the estimated 400 short-term rentals within tight city boundaries are legal as to zoning, licensing and lodging taxes. Hundreds more short-term rentals are listed as part of the city, but located just beyond in the county. How we spend our money when traveling can severely impact cities and the locals. Much less housing for workers, erosion of neighborhoods formerly with families connected to work, schools, etc., are becoming areas of lost identity except for the turnover of many unknown folks wishing to party on and not giving a fig.

Posted by
784 posts

I mourn the loss of short term rentals, but understand the impact they have on the local housing market. It is a shame that in many cities locals can no longer afford to live in their own city, and that includes Seattle. I have enjoyed staying in vacation rentals in Paris and throughout France, in Hawaii and elsewhere. Having more space and independence, as well as being able to do my own cooking, is a big advantage over a hotel. Before AirBnB, I don't think this was so much of a problem. I always use VRBO or Home away with good success, but in Paris I've used a rental agency/manager company. Since AirBnB, it seems that everyone with an extra closet has seen it as a cash cow, and has listed it for short term rental, which has resulted in this proliferation of vacation rentals pushing out the locals. I last rented in Paris last September, and now for my next trip I am planning to stay in either a hotel or apartment hotel. Even though it is the owners who are at risk more than the renters as respects the current regulations, those who continue to rent are partners with the owners and thus a partner in the problem.

Posted by
395 posts

I do find it somewhat amusing (or disingenuous) that she does not acknowledge her own role in helping perpetuate this decline of the local businesses. She has played a small role in promoting the district as an alternative to the traditional tourist quarters of the Left Bank. But blaming the disappearance on just short term renters or even foreign buyers would equally misplaced. As many of you know even better than I, 20 or 30 years ago this part of Paris was not yet the neighborhood it has now become. It's now on the tourist map, and it's not just short term renters but also regular visitors that are heading to the district. It's this tourist traffic, plus the flow of visitors from other parts of the city, that causes rents to rise on shops and pushes out these local businesses. While the reduction of full time permanent residents has hurt, the new businesses are also fueled by this tourist traffic. You see this happening in other cities, and other districts, where tourism begins to rise too high.

Posted by
2525 posts

There's a market for extended stay hotels and another one is popping up this year in my town. More might have been fostered if people had not rushed to short term (and most outside the law) rentals thinking it's the best thing in the world and not considering the consequences.

Posted by
2466 posts

My website has been blocked, since it's in Paris.

Adrian Leeds is concentrating on Nice, right now - where all the weather is sunny and the food is great. Not so with Paris, which she seems to "forget, as being grey all the time".

She has contributed to the patisseries, boulangeries, and the ice cream vendors, and on and on, who are doing great business...to the detriment of bouchers, and so on.
She is completely disingenuous, in the worst way. And, she far exceeds the rental cap that the Mayor proscribes.

Nobody needs that much sugar, by the way - but she has convinced tourists to haul sacks of greasy pastries from Paul, etc.
And let's not forget the sacks of rotisserie chickens...

Posted by
775 posts

The post has been taken down but one can still find it using Google.

This is from a previous newsletter advising foreign owners of properties used for short term rentals of ways to skip out on their French tax burden on earnings in France.

"Reality check: The French tax authorities will tell you that if you rent a property in France, France expects you to report your rental income in France. The rules in France on income and the taxes due, of course, differ. If you are not tax resident in France, then the question I ask is, "how will France know?"

Posted by
23751 posts

Why has your website been blocked? By whom?

Posted by
2558 posts

@ Chexbres, Do you mean that your access to the website has been blocked? I have heard that a number of vacation rental agencies are blocking access to their sites to persons with French IP addresses. Of course, I assume that French investigators know how to use VPNs. So, let the cat and mouse games begin.

Posted by
60 posts

I don't believe that any of the apartments she lists are legal. Haven't seen a reg number on any of them.

Posted by
2466 posts

Yep. My access to IP has been blocked, so has everybody else's in Paris.
Adrian Leeds did this. I don't know why - some people might like to rent apartments or buy property. She's missing out...

Adrian Leeds' advice is to put your rental money in an offshore account.
She will "counsel" you - I suffered through lunch, to prove a point - she talked about her shoes a lot.
She speaks only rudimentary French, and couldn't make the server understand that she wanted "haricots verts" instead of "puree".
And, she "counsels" you to tear up a perfectly good rental agreement, after it's a week or month old.
She, of course, keeps her money in an LLC in San Francisco.

Posted by
7736 posts

"she talked about her shoes a lot."

Chexbres, I laughed out loud about that. Lunch must have been excruciating. Just watching her on HHI is pretty awful and I can't imagine sitting across from her at a meal.

Thanks to 75020 for posting and for the other comments. I find this behavior and advice from her really appalling.

Posted by
395 posts

The posts are actually still up, if you want to review them.

Regarding the tax quote above, the extract above is missing the fact she does write later in the same paragraph she does not condone tax evasion.

Posted by
2466 posts

Hard to do that, when she speaks from both ends of her mouth...

For the record, Adrian Leeds has been in business in Paris for 20 years or so...and still can't get her mind around the US idea of "entrepreneur".

Posted by
2773 posts

Aside: the lack of any affordable options for families in traditional European lodging is driving a lot of the demand for these rentals. Also, I wonder how much of the loss of businesses is due to temporary residents, people who must have a trophy property in Paris but leave it vacant most of the year.

Posted by
23751 posts

she does write later in the same paragraph she does not condone tax evasion.

oh, well that's OK then.

Posted by
1201 posts

The same problem is emerging in my home town of Charleston, S.C. Wealthy out-of-towners buy the stately old mansions in the historic district as vacation homes, occupying them only a few weeks out of the year or Airb&bing them now and again. Instead of a family with children in the house, schools, and playgrounds year-round, it's just tourists. This is a great way to convert a lively neighborhood or city into a dead zone like Venice.

Posted by
2837 posts

the lack of any affordable options for families in traditional European lodging is driving a lot of the demand for these rentals.

That's certainly an issue in the US. For example, I've heard that hotels in my city (Portland, Maine) average around $300/night, at least during the Summer. No wonder AirBnB's with rates of $100/night have sprouted up everywhere.
However, I've always been amazed at the availability of reasonably priced hotels and chambres de hote in France, even in big cities. I haven't stayed in Paris for a few years, but the last time I was there I think we paid a little over $100/night for a pretty nice hotel. Whereas we stayed in NYC around the same time, and even sharing a room with our niece and her husband we paid $250/night per couple. Now, since we don't have any children, I don't know how being a family would affect this. Whereas US hotel rooms are often large enough to fit 4 people, French hotel rooms are smaller, so maybe families would normally need to get 2 rooms. Hence the attraction of AirBnB.

Posted by
2241 posts

Wow, a years-long series of attacks on Adrian Leeds by one poster, under various screen names and on various platforms, continues to evolve and now she's got many on this Forum bashing the woman along with her. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Adrian Leeds or her businesses, but enough is enough-let it go already, please.