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Air B and B sanctions in Paris

We have booked through Air B and B for 3 nights in Paris in Sept. Now I read that the govt. is making all such properties register and not rent for more than 120 days. Air B and B has no insight on their website as to whether or not a booking will be cancelled w/o warning if the property owner fails to register (apparently, less than 20% have done so). Has anyone experienced a sudden loss of their rental since the law went into effect in January 2018?

Posted by
883 posts

If the property you are renting does not have the 13 digit registration number associated with it on the Air B&B website, you may not have an apartment in Paris when you arrive in September. It's that simple. So the question I want to ask is this: Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?

Posted by
1700 posts

Has been a law and being enforced prior to January 2018
If your upcoming rental has a registration number on the listing: you are good
If it doesn't it is not a legal rental and you are taking a chance it last minute will be cancelled. You will get your money back but last minute need to find a new place.

Read plenty of stories of last minute cancellations like that all last year in Paris, up to this point the odds of that happening were mostly due to other owners in the building complaining to the city / reporting about rental units. It is hard to say if the recent chatter will lead to greater enforcement or it will remain random this year like last year.
From afar the fines seem quite high that if I was renting I would either stop doing that or register my apartment right away and comply with the law.
In the end I think those renting worrying about being fined will be the best way it becomes better enforced.

Posted by
7244 posts

As others said, make sure your AirBnB apt has a registration #. Call AirBnB. If it doesn’t, find another apt to rent that has a registration #.

Posted by
546 posts

Hi, I Strongly suggest that you read this thread https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/france/regarding-illegal-rentals-beware-the-noose-is-gradually-tightening Thoroughly take note of all the pros and cons espressed there before being spooked into changing your booking. As you will no doubt note I was a contributor to that thread and my views on it are clear there.

I suggest you contact the AirBnb Host and ask the question directly.

Only YOU can make the decision. Keep in mind that there are some here that have an axe to grind with AirBnb and not every response you get may be accurate or free of bias.

Good Luck and have fun on your trip.

Posted by
7244 posts

“Keep in mind that there are some here that have an axe to grind with AirBnb”

I agree with you aarthurperry, here and in that thread.

Posted by
2556 posts

"Keep in mind that there are some here that have an axe to grind with AirBnb and not every response you get may be accurate or free of bias."
I agree about the possibility of there being an anti-AirBnb bias but the advice to be aware that answers may not be accurate and free from bias is one that applies to every response. Another thing to be aware of is that there are persons who use more than one screen name so just because you see two responses that agree does not mean that there are two people responding.

Posted by
6067 posts

If you're at all concerned, just email the Airbnb you reserved and ask for their 13 digit registration number. If you don't get it from them you might want to rethink that rental and look around some more.

Posted by
1103 posts

Call AirBnB. If it doesn’t, find another apt to rent that has a registration #

The registration numbers must be clearly visible on a listing website whether it´s Airbnb, Homeaway, Abritel, le Bon Coin, booking.com or any other. It´s rather pointless to call, the number is either present or it is not. Verbal assurances mean absolutely nothing.

Keep in mind that there are some here that have an axe to grind with AirBnb

The law has nothing specifically to do with Airbnb. Airbnb is perhaps the largest listing website of apartments in Paris but it is by no means the only website.

Posted by
6067 posts

It´s rather pointless to call, the number is either present or it is not. Verbal assurances mean absolutely nothing.

Not necessarily. It's entirely possible that the Airbnb rental is in the process of getting the registration # but has not posted it yet. Call or email them, or cancel and find another rental that does have the # on their website.

Posted by
7244 posts

Tocard, having an ax to grind with AirBnB is separate from the subject of the law. There are anti AirBnB posters on this forum. And anti Uber posters.

Nancy, you make a very good point.

“Another thing to be aware of is that there are persons who use more than one screen name so just because you see two responses that agree does not mean that there are two people responding.”

JHK, very interesting point that I never thought of, and I believe you. Hmm... pretty shady.

Posted by
1103 posts

It's entirely possible that the Airbnb rental is in the process of getting the registration # but has not posted it yet.

Sorry but that´s not how it works. Airbnb does not get registration numbers. That´s the responsibility of the apartment owner and it can be completed on line in minutes. The owner then adds the number to his Airbnb or Arbritel or booking.com profile and it´s visible almost instantly.

Publishing the government required registration number does not take days and verbal assurances that registration has been completed mean absolutely nothing.

Posted by
6067 posts

Tocard, I understand who needs to get the registration number. When I said the 'Airbnb rental' I was referring to the apt/home owner not Airbnb itself and I was advising the OP to call or email the apt/home owner, not 'Airbnb the listing company'. And just because the process of getting the registration number may not take long, it's up to the individual owner to get it posted on the listing service website - which may take some time, people do have other things to do. And I wasn't suggesting that the OP take the owner's word of assurance that the number had been applied for, I was suggesting that they get the actual number from the owner. Maybe I wasn't clear in my post and I thank you for pointing that out.

Posted by
2466 posts

It only takes a minute for the property owner to fill out an online certificate. It's only 13-digits long, and it's tied to the property owners' financial information. The property owner has the right to 120 days of his/her vacation time. It should be on the AirBnB website.
And if you find an AirBnB that suits you, you should grab it.

The coveted arrondissements are the 1st through 4th.

If, by chance, there is a "plumbing emergency" - the owner should refund your deposit or make other arrangements for an upgrade.

Posted by
2837 posts

it's tied to the property owners' financial information.

I've seen that statement elsewhere. What exactly does that mean?

Posted by
775 posts

On the registration form, at the verifier l'adress button there is '' saisir l'identifiant du local," then explains where to find this number on one's habitation tax form

Posted by
1103 posts

On the registration form, at the verifier l'adress button there is '' saisir l'identifiant du local," then explains where to find this number on one's habitation tax form

Specifically, what personal, traceable financial information is found on the taxe d´habitation? What bank information is part of the taxe d´habitation? I know people who have paid the taxe d´habitation for years and never supplied any personal financial information on this form.

On the Déclaration des meublé de trouisme form, the item saisir l'identifiant du local is but one of two possible options on the form. It´s possible to fill out J'identifie le local autrement and avoid the automatic address verification of the apartment in question.

I have never understood the statement that the city required registration number is specifically tied to any financial information.

Posted by
775 posts

Since I pay the habitation by bank deduct, my financial information (bank info) is on my avis. I went to the Paris site and tried the autrement button. You're absolutely right. Without any declaration of tax number the next step was in effect "I've sworn that I told the truth." I was reluctant to go any farther for obvious reasons as the next step seemed to be the final.

I thought that "financial information" really meant habitation tax info. Using the left button as you suggested, no tax info appears to be required. Hmmmmmmmmm

Posted by
1103 posts

The problem with much of the law ALUR and the associated elements concerning short term apartment rentals in France is that legislators apparently have the mistaken idea that people are honest and will follow their laws. There is a lot of money at stake in the short term rental market and people appear more than willing to bend the laws to justify their own personal interests.

Basically, only two types of apartments are legal to rent short term:

  1. Those occupied by the owner and primary resident.
  2. Those which have been given commercial status by the city (of which there are only 125 in all of Paris

The problem is that in attempting to allow home owners to rent their primary residences, legislators have written laws that are virtually unenforceable because they are ambiguous and penalties are weak and difficult to impose.

In reference to the 120 day maximum rental period per year, even if Airbnb counts rental days as they said they would, nothing stops an unscrupulous owner from renting 120 days at Airbnb, separately another 120 days at booking.com and another 120 days at Arbritel. There is no centralized data base to confirm an aggregate total of days an apartment is rented.

In reference to the city registration numbers, nothing stops someone from inventing a 13 digit number and posting it on his Airbnb listing. Nothing stops an absentee owner from applying for and receiving a city registration number for his pied-a-terre or secondary home, a clear violation of the primary resident requirement.

There is a regulatory requirement for on line platforms to list only apartments with registration numbers but what´s the penalty if they decide not to as Airbnb has decided (with the exception of arrondissements 1-4)? Presently, I don´t think that there is any specific penalty which is why regulators are meeting April 4th.

I am afraid the city´s efforts at enforcement are laughable. Certainly the city collected over 1,000,000€ in fines last year but given the number of those who continue to rent illegally, very few have been deterred.

Unfortunately, what results for the tourist to Paris who wants to rent short term, and do so legally, is confusion, uncertainty, and risk. The French government needs to do much better.

Posted by
7244 posts

Tocard, thank you. All good, helpful info. I wondered what stops someone from just making up a #. Apparently nothing, so even a # means nothing.

Your statement “I am afraid the city´s efforts at enforcement are laughable.” was aarthurperry’s point. And I agree.

Posted by
546 posts

Tocard, you make some very good points and help put this in perspective which has been lacking recently (try as I might) Thanks for sharing your detailed knowledge of the system.

But the REAL money at stake in this issue is the more than €130 MILLION a season in lost bookings that the large and medium sized hotels are losing from AirBnb and others. And they want it back.

Posted by
775 posts

And as much as I'd like to talk about and believe the humanistic arguments of saving neighborhoods, providing housing for residents etcetcetc. seems like it's another follow the money episode. Paris has been so sloppy with it's registration system compared to Berlin, that one has to believe that's because Paris doesn't know what money track to follow; rich speculators who have made big bucks buying up multi-properties and renting them out short term, or hotels that are reeling from their failure to adapt to what today's tourists are looking for.

Posted by
1103 posts

so even a # means nothing.

The registration number is the only tool one presently has. The number suggests that an apartment is legal but it´s not a definitive indication. However, one would be wise to avoid apartments without a city registration number. A missing city registration number leaves no doubt that the associated apartment lacks legitimacy.

But the REAL money at stake in this issue is the more than €130 MILLION a season in lost bookings that the large and medium sized hotels are losing

Certainly this is part of the impetus behind the effort to control the illegal rental market but it is by no means the only factor. The government is genuinely concerned about the chronic shortage of housing for residents in Paris. The city estimates in recent years, over 20,000 apartments which once housed residents are now used exclusively for short term rentals. Additionally there are many, many neighbors who are very angry about the constant coming and going of strangers in their buildings.

Paris has been so sloppy with it's registration system compared to Berlin,

In fairness to Paris, I believe that Berlin has banned all short term rental apartments in the city. Laws like these are much easier to administer than those which attempt to appease certain interests. The French Government is sensitive to residents who attempt to augment their modest incomes by renting out their apartments for a few weeks a year. Rentals of this type do not diminish the total number of available apartments for residents and help both apartment owner and city visitor.

Posted by
775 posts

Granted that Paris has made an effort to help residents get a little money on the side. However, rumbles about the upcoming situation, now current, started in 2009 or so. Given the 9 or so years of planning, the results could have been a lot more efficient and effective.

Posted by
7244 posts

Tocard, your statement “nothing stops someone from inventing a 13 digit number and posting it on his Airbnb listing.” is why I say the # on a listing means nothing.

Posted by
2466 posts

There is a "plafond" for this. You have to prove that you have received revenue when you go to your friendly tax man. And it is useless to fake a phony registration number when you go to see him/her.

Posted by
23728 posts

Certainly if a landlord were to be prosecuted the judge would perhaps be more upset when a proven fake number is presented by the prosecutor than if no number were to be presented. Surely a proven fake number would demonstrate premeditated fraud which would likely result in a bigger kick in the teeth too the fraudster than a claim of an innocent oversight..... who would want that?

Posted by
2837 posts

the REAL money at stake in this issue is the more than €130 MILLION a season in lost bookings that the large and medium sized hotels are losing from AirBnb and others.

I have some sympathy for such hotels, at least smaller ones, in Paris and other French cities. Less so in the US cities. France, including its cities, seems to be full of small, family-run hotels that have reasonable rates. Whereas in my city, I think AirBnB has exploded because most hotels are either high-priced chain hotels, high-priced boutique hotels, or dumps.
The reason I have used AirBnB in Canada, and now for a few nights in an upcoming France trip, is not to save money, but rather because of a lack of hotels where I want to stay, and/or the availability of a kitchen and living room space.

Posted by
1700 posts

Some knowledgeable posts in this thread.
Nice to see some thought out responses.

Obviously for certain travelers short term rentals provide options which hotels do not currently cater to:
multiple rooms for larger parties, kitchens, in some cases budget options, etc...

I also think it is time for hotels to wake up and realize plenty use Airbnb and the like because they see exactly what they are getting. So many hotels it is a roll of the dice, will I get the amazing view room with a balcony or the basement with a view of a brick wall room for my $200 per night? Many times I have not booked a specific hotel due to this uncertainty.
The high cost of suites and the list rate for the best rooms in a hotel if one were to insist on them is outrageous in many places and seems like priced on the airline model where business class and first class are basically there for point holders and those booking on business expense budgets.

Posted by
49 posts

"Has anyone experienced a sudden loss of their rental since the law went into effect in January 2018?"

Dear transplanted,
It looks like the answer to "your question" is no one has experienced a sudden loss of their rental on this post. But you were given a lot of reading material. Have a fun time in Paris!

Posted by
16996 posts

There were a few posts in 2017 about rentals pulled at the last minute, I think. But I don't remember whether they were first-person accounts. It was enough for me to warn a friend known to be an Airbnb fan who was talking about a trip to France.

Posted by
395 posts

There are third party services that allow cities to monitor compliance across a wide range of online sites. However, I think others would agree that the French have their own way for doing many things. In SF, they employee a wide range of techniques that cut down the AirBnB listings in half over the last couple of years.

It would be helpful for potential renters in France to verify that a legitimate registration was in effect, or for the online listing company to compare to a database of valid numbers.

It's important, however, to note that what is being done in Paris does not necessarily apply to the rest of the country. The national law is implemented in a different fashion in each of the regions differently, and of course does not apply in many areas. The pressure on the housing stock is simply not the same or the sensitivity between interested groups is not quite the same. Down south, seasonal rentals are a key part of the economy (since way before AirBnB) and many cities simply don't have enough hotel or B&B stock.

Posted by
2466 posts

The tariff for the on-going rental - if there is one on-going - is 150,000 EU.
The property owner must pay it on demand, for each day on-going.

Posted by
546 posts

From Robert this quote:

I have some sympathy for such hotels, at least smaller ones, in Paris and other French cities.

I really don't share your sympathy for those small hotel owners and here is why; I used to own a small Boutique hotel in a well known SE Asian resort. I sold it in 2010. I would have given my left arm to have AirBnb available to me. Small hotels can put rooms on AirBnb and use it to help fill rooms. Many of the smart ones have done so. There is nothing stopping those owners from co opting AirBnb for their own ends instead of simply viewing them as the enemy or competition.

Whats hurting those hotels is their own actions or lack of it not AirBnb.

Posted by
2466 posts

I had a legal BnB in Louisiana. I lived there and managed it. I rented for $225 and did well.
Nothing would tempt me to have AirBnB'ers - who don't respect the property, and try to shave off a few dollars, especially in the Summer.

Posted by
301 posts

I'm looking at AirBnB for Paris. Where exactly would I find the registration numbers?I've looked at many properties and not seeing any.

Posted by
2556 posts

@ pat, For an AirBnb listing, to see the registration number, if the listing has one, you would click on where it says "Read more about the space." When you click there the number should be right above an active link called Learn More About This Number.