Paris tightens short-term rentals with new restrictions on commercial spaces

Skift grip

Airbnb and its competitors continue to feel pressure from major European cities that are committed to seeing traditional commerce survive, especially after Covid.

Tom Lowry

The Paris city council has voted to tighten the rules for transforming commercial spaces into tourist rentals in order to curb the influence of shared accommodation sites in the French capital.

It comes like civil servants in the main tourist towns around the world have blamed home-sharing sites such as Airbnb for worsening housing shortages, with landlords favoring lucrative short-term rentals, pushing low-income residents away.

In Paris, which has the most Airbnb listings of any city in the world, much local commerce has disappeared in parts of the capital, with ground-floor shops being turned into accommodation for tourists from passage booking their stay on sites such as Airbnb, Expedia and, according to city officials.

Over the past six years, Paris has lost 59,000 square meters of commercial space to short-stay accommodation while 900 businesses have disappeared in four years, the city said in a document outlining plans for the new rules.

Asked about the new rules, Airbnb said the “overwhelming majority” of hosts in Paris are locals renting out their homes for additional income, and does not expect the new rules targeting “professionals and investors” have “a significant impact on our business in Paris”. the city”.

Last year, more than 95% of homes rented on the site were rented for less than the 120-day cap, as required by local regulations, the site added.

Under the new rules, permission to convert commercial space into short-term accommodation will not be granted if it is deemed to upset the local balance of employment, housing and commerce.

(Reporting by Mimosa Spencer; editing by David Evans)

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