Airbnb hosts in Europe may hit road bump when renting second homes

EU court affirms Parisian regulations on renting second homes

National Weekend Edition /
Sep.September 26, 2020 02:00 PM
The European Union’s top court backed a Parisian measure that regulates renting second homes on Airbnb. (iStock)

The European Union’s top court backed a Parisian measure that regulates renting second homes on Airbnb. (iStock)

The European Union’s top court ruled against two Parisian Airbnb hosts in a decision that could impact the short-term rental business’s operations throughout the continent.

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in favor of a Paris measure that requires property owners to get city approval to rent a second home on Airbnb, Reuters reported.

Parisian officials had fined two apartment owners for failing to secure those approvals. Airbnb was not a party to the case.
The issue went to a French court, which requested guidance on the issue. The CJEU said the measure was consistent with EU law and justified because it was “proportionate, limited in material and geographical scope, and doesn’t cover the rental of primary homes,” according to Reuters.

“Combating the long-term rental housing shortage constitutes an overriding reason relating to the public interest justifying such legislation,” the CJEU said.

The Parisian measure was designed to combat the loss of affordable housing in the city, since landlords can ask for higher rates on short-term stays than they can for traditional leases. Other cities, including Los Angeles, have instituted similar regulations on Airbnb rentals to combat affordable housing problems.

In a statement, Airbnb said that it welcomed the ruling to “help clarify the rules for hosts who share secondary homes in Paris.” It said the ruling would have little to no impact on its business in the city because most hosts rent their primary residences, but it’s unclear how it could affect short-term rentals in other European cities. [Reuters] — Dennis Lynch


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