Paris Might Ban All Airbnbs in the City's Center
A city council member in charge of Paris' housing wants to ban all Airbnb and other home-share rentals in the center of the city.
"If we don’t regulate Airbnb, we will no longer have citizens in our city centers," Ian Brossat, the city councilman, told Le Parisien. According to Brossat, Paris has lost about 20,000 homes in five years due to home-share rentals. He wants to ban the home-shares from the city, along with purchasing second homes. About a quarter of houses in Paris' four central districts are rented out as home-shares, according to Travel + Leisure.
“Do we want Paris to be a city which the middle classes can afford, or do we want it to be a playground for Saudi or American billionaires?” he told AFP. Brossat's plan would re-emphasize two-star and three-star hotels that could offer similar prices to Airbnb.
This is hardly the first time Airbnb's effect on European cities has been hotly debated. Many people argue that the company is ruining European cities. Travel guru Rick Steves, for instance, said early this year that the home-share service has a devastating “impact on the fabric of communities” in Europe.
The European Union also warned Airbnb in July that it was violating several EU regulations. Officials demanded the company clarify on its site whether a rental is offered by a private individual or professional company, as well as making its pricing more transparent and making its terms of service fairer and easier to understand for its European customers.
Paris already limits the number of nights that a home-share rental can be booked to 120 nights out of the year. Officials in the French capital also took Airbnb to court in June for allowing rentals to be listed without proper documentation.
The City of Light joins several other European cities that are tightening the regulatory leash on home-share rentals. As TPG's Matt Nelson reports, Barcelona is arguably the toughest on vacation rentals. Barcelona requires all rentals to be licensed and, in May, told Airbnb to remove more than 2,500 listings that did not comply.