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Airbnb finded over 8,000,000€

Pursuant to a court decision Thursday in Paris, Airbnb was fined 8,000€ for each of 1,100 illegal rental offers - those posted to the website without government required registration numbers.

The city has a similar lawsuit against Abritel, a tourist apartment rental site similar to Airbnb.

Paris now has 35 full time inspectors who followup on short term rental law compliance. The city is taking aggressive action against illegal short term apartment rentals after winning an ongoing court case last February. Be careful when renting short term apartments in the city.

Here are the article from the French news.

Le Monde Airbnb condamné

Le Parisien Airbnb condamné

Posted by
1320 posts

Airbnb's known continuation of not following local laws is one reason I would never use their services. Great to see Paris taking appropriate action.

Posted by
8592 posts

Not being educated on French law, what is the appeals process?

In the US, this sort of thing would go on for 2-3 more years and likely result in a significantly reduced fine.

Posted by
3789 posts

Is it Airbnb or the host who is renting the illegal apartments? What are they being fined...as AirBnB does state they expect their hosts to comply to local laws. I am not saying they are not in some way culpable but the hosts are the ones that instigate it all and are fraudulent from the get-go.

Posted by
759 posts

Fantastic news! Original Airbnb concept - stay in someone's home (a spare room in the house while they are there) as fantastic...the developed version of turning longterm apartments into nightly hotels will destroy a cities housing structure over time. I pray for the day Airbnb folds.

Posted by
1553 posts

Love it! I refuse to use AirB&B. I hope more cities do this as well.

Posted by
3188 posts

Many cities are doing the same and try to stop overuse of Airbnb.

Posted by
268 posts

We use Airbnb pretty frequently in France, but only twice have we done so for a city apartment and both times were a disappointment. Some friends visiting from the U.S. used them to rent an apartment in Lyon near us and they had a good experience.

Where Airbnb really helps, in my view, is in rural rentals. We've had very good experiences renting places in the countryside, often with the owner's main house next door or close by.

I just wouldn't rent a central city apartment through them -- I prefer hotels in cities.

And Tocard -- you have twice as many Ds as you need in your title.

Posted by
498 posts

Hey, anyone remember vrbo? They were around a long time before air BNB. I've tried to use air BNB but have never been able to find something that I felt really good about. I have, however used vrbo for Paris, Naples, London, Barcelona and Rome. All except one were great experiences. But for the countryside, in France we always use gites de france for both weekly rentals and their listing of chambre d'hotes. Always with excellent results. An important caveat whether using air BNB or vrbo is to look for their licensing number which should be posted in their listing. No number? Don't bite.

Posted by
5532 posts

I haven’t used Airbnb for a few years, as their fees are way higher than other rental platforms. The cottage where we stay in Spain is available through Airbnb and VRBO. It would be about 15% more expensive to take it through Airbnb. The owner doesn’t like Airbnb bookings either, as she gets less, but she feels it’s a platform that she needs to be on.

Will Airbnb pass this fine on to owners and renters by increasing their fees ? Will it cause them to do some due diligence and check that the properties are properly licensed?

I would much prefer to stay in a cottage or apartment rather than some dreary hotel, particularly if it’s a chain hotel. Premier Inn and Marriott etc are ok for an odd night, but I wouldn’t want a whole holiday here. I have used Trip Advisor for recent rentals. They have been excellent, as are Booking.com. I have used VRBO for years, but in some locations, their choice of accommodation is limited.

Posted by
2916 posts

I would tend to agree with MariaF, although it seems that AirBnB is being fined for violations that they had to have been aware of:

Airbnb was fined 8,000€ for each of 1,100 illegal rental offers - those posted to the website without government required registration numbers.

I've used AirBnB in several countries, including France and Switzerland, but always in villages, towns or small cities. With some exceptions, I just can't stand staying in hotels.

Posted by
13524 posts

Well, this doesn't bode well for tourism. Very unfortunate. I cant imagine a world without AirBnb and if this sort of thing continues to happen those quaint old apartment blocks will be replaced with shinny new hotels... Very sad.

Posted by
6868 posts

There's nothing sad about a business being fined for not adhering to local regulations, which it is fully aware of by now. Local regulations are there to protect "locals", not tourists. Why can't Airbnb comply with them like any other business has to comply with local laws? No sympathy for them. They know the rules and should take every step to comply, and to help their hosts to comply. The fines are supposed to be a deterrent from their unsual lawnessness. If they can operate honestly in other markets, then they should do so in Paris as well.

Rick's creed is to respect local conditions, laws, and customs That means don't take advantage as a tourist just because you can.

Posted by
1990 posts

Airbnb´s rather flagrant disregard for a law, which they have known about for at least 4 years, is based upon one simple thing - money and market share. Airbnb´s listing revenues from unregistered apartments will likely exceed any fine amounts and associated court costs.

As the court battles heated up in 2019, the city of Paris estimated that most of Airbnb´s 40,000+ listings at the time were illegal. As a comparison of business philosophies, Booking.com removed unregistered apartments from their website some time ago. Airbnb has not and are now being forced to do so.

The city has displayed great restraint in only charging Airbnb with 1100 violations. Airbnb knows that if they fail to comply with the court order, a second round of fines could follow.

Posted by
1000 posts

Back in the olden days, I regularly rented through VRBO. It's changed over the years and now appears to operate much more like AirBnB. I have not found anything recently on either platform that appealed enough to encourage me to book them over a direct booking or through booking.com. I have found apartments either by searching general terms for the city I'm visiting, or on booking.com, then rented direct or through an agency that specializes in such rentals. Also have booked a couple of apartments through booking.com when I couldn't find a way to rent directly (single-unit owners, typically). Usually better rates and cancellation terms than AirBnB, too. I don't hate them or begrudge them offering a legal service - after all, there's a sucker born every minute. However, there are other options and given some of the horror stories about AirBnB, I'll stay away.