Paris Mayor Anne Hildago wants Airbnb to pay millions for unregistered listings

Feb. 11 (UPI) — The mayor of Paris is taking legal action against home-sharing marketplace Airbnb for advertising in her city she says is turning the capital into a “museum.”

Mayor Anne Hildago is targeting the company over rental properties that lack a registration number, a violation of French law. French homeowners can rent properties for up to 120 days, and the law says advertising must include a government-issued registration number to determine if the occupancy law is followed and taxes are paid. Inspections of properties indicate about 1,000 Airbnb listings in Paris are violating that law, and the company can be fined up to $14,100 per listing.

“The goal is to send a shot across the bows to get it over with unauthorized rentals that spoil some Parisian neighborhoods,” Hildago said Sunday. “Yes, to the sharing economy. Yes, to Parisians who rent their apartment a few days a year to have a small additional income.

“No, to those who make money preying, destroying residential housing and risking making Paris a museum city.”

Hildago added that although rules of home-sharing in Paris have been tightened, the city is becoming “an open-air museum” that caters too much to tourists.

Many homeowners are flouting the law and hotel operators have complained the home rental industry is pricing them out of the market.

San Francisco-based Airbnb said it’s implemented measures to help property owners rent “in accordance with applicable rules.” It added that the requirements from Paris are “inefficient, disproportionate and against European regulations.”

Other European cities have required special permits and instituted caps on Airbnb and other rental platforms. Barcelona has a freeze on rental apartments and fined Airbnb $33,000 fine. Berlin has banned short-term rentals that lack permits, and the Irish government announced new rules last year to curb Airbnb’s expansion in Dublin.

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