Furnished housing: the party’s over

The explosion of Airbnb and other seasonal rental platforms has led to a housing imbalance in the urban core and in coastal areas. Not only are year-round rentals increasingly scarce, but the spirit of the neighborhood is also significantly eroded when buildings include a high percentage of furnished tourist accommodations.

Most often, anyone wishing to rent a furnished tourist apartment must submit an application for a “change of use” to the town hall or municipal authority. This is the first step in training. Knowing that in most cities, in principle a 120-day rental period is allowed. Furthermore, a change of use is mandatory and ‘compensation’ may be required. Principle ? The owner of the furnished tourist accommodation must compensate the latter by creating accommodation, which will be rented on an annual basis, from another location (garage, work, etc.). The Basque conglomerate community, which introduced the device in March, has just witnessed its abolition by provisional order No. 2200930 of June 3 of the Administrative Court of Pau. The judges said the terms of the compensation were too restrictive.

In Paris (2.17 million inhabitants), “compensation rules allowed for an additional 20,000 square meters of housing space between 2012 and 2020”, noted Ian Brusatte, the deputy mayor responsible for housing, in November 2021. In Bordeaux (261,000) residents ), the compensation has led to a sharp decrease in the number of advertisements for furnished tourist accommodation. There were 4,668 advertisements for furnished tourist accommodation at the end of 2021, compared to “between 8,000 and 10,000 in 2018”. The city assumes 4,000 homes have returned to the traditional rental market, without being able to verify this.

Specific sectors

Saint-Malo (46,800 inhabitants, Île-et-Villains) had to take drastic measures. In 2019, the municipality recorded an average of 636 accommodations per night per 100 inhabitants! On January 1, 2020, the municipality adopted the rule of mandatory change of use from the first night for secondary residences, and from night 121 for primary residences. “This license is only granted to the natural persons who own the building and for a period of three years,” we were told in the city. Therefore, this authorization cannot be issued to legal persons such as civil real estate companies, for example.

These measures were not sufficient to curb the phenomenon that tends to be concentrated in certain sectors of Saint-Malo. Also, in June 2021, the city of Saint-Malo took the next step by introducing a quota system by region. “The municipal ordinance defines four geographic sectors and establishes the percentage of housing that can be authorized simultaneously in each area,” defines the city. No more than 12.5% ​​of tourist accommodations – of all accommodations listed by INSEE – are in the fortified city, for example. On the coast the rate is 7.5%.

change of use

In Nice (342,700 inhabitants), in 2019, more than 2,200 residences lost their main occupation of residence to accommodate tourists only. “There are sometimes more than 12,500 listings on the Airbnb platform, which now outnumber traditional hotel rooms!” laments Anthony Puri, deputy mayor responsible for housing, security and urban renewal.

Here, too, the measure adopted in 2014 has been tightened over the years: “Since July 1, 2021, we have strengthened this system. From now on, only one authorization is issued for three previous years and for a maximum of six non-renewable years as against nine previous years. , details of the elected official. Implicitly renewed annually on the condition that no frequent harassment has been observed during the past year. For this authorization, the common ownership regulations are now subject to close scrutiny during investigation, because some common ownership requires the consent of the common owners gathered at a general meeting to change the use.


Owners of furnished tourist properties must provide compensation for the second property offered for tourist rental. “In addition, in 2021, we introduced a hybrid system that meets the need for student housing: for a nine-month student rental, the landlord can rent three months on seasonal rent without having to make a change of use,” adds Anthony Bure.

In Lyon (523,000 inhabitants), 9,000 addresses provide short-term rentals. In 2018, a municipal regulation of Oula targeted the super center, requiring a change of use to furnished tourist accommodations with the city from 120 licensed nights. Moreover, any accommodation used as a tourist accommodation must be compensated with an area of ​​60 square meters. If the measure is a deterrent, it is nevertheless necessary to make its scope relativ: “There is the peculiarity of Lyon. More than 50% of Lyon’s residents are tenants. Often the owners are multi-landlords; explains Raphael Michaud, deputy mayor of Lyon responsible for town planning, housing and housing. “So it is easier for them to comply with compensation.”

Since April 2022, in the super position, any request for a change of use is subject to compensation in workplaces of the same size and in the same department. Elsewhere, the minimum compensation, which was previously 70 square meters, has been reduced to 35 square meters for individuals. In addition, the scope of application has been expanded: “From now on, the whole city is interested in the organization, because tourist rentals are spreading, including near hospitals, to accommodate people who have undergone surgical interventions,” justifies Rafael Michaud.

Juror Agents Controls

Another peculiarity of Leon: “Since June 1, we have been tryingAPIs furnished, a tool promoted by the government that enables automatic and integrated transfer of data from platforms to communities. This measure will greatly ease the investigative work carried out by the agents,” Rafael Michaud rejoices.

Nice is also experimenting with the Furnished API. It must be said that the municipality of Nice is one step ahead: it relies on an observatory developed by the service provider, which allows cleaning and reliability of databases, their transit and geolocation … Six sworn agents work in the framework of the housing protection mission. “Verifications are conducted daily, unexpectedly, following various information checks or following complaints from co-owners or trustees who have been overwhelmed by the inconvenience or damage to their premises,” explains Anthony Puri.

In Lyon, the Watch Brigade is made up of four sworn agents responsible for consulting locations, advertisements, comments and inferring the number of overnight stays. They can also request numbers from the platforms. In April 2021, the first fine of €21,000 was imposed on a fraudulent owner.

Quotas for each building and incentives to transfer rents outside the center

Susan Broly

Susan Broly The deputy mayor in charge of the steadfast city

Initially, in 2016, the Grande-Ile district of Strasbourg, in the heart of the city, was only concerned with municipal regulations regarding furnished tourist accommodation. In 2019, the scope was expanded to include Neustadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the beginning of 2022, new conditions were set. First, “lease or joint ownership regulations must not be opposed to changing the use of residential premises; the applicant must make use of the written permission of joint ownership,” notes Suzanne Broly, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg responsible for the flexible city.

In Grande-Ile and Neustadt, change of use is allowed for one dwelling per person. After that, it is necessary to compensate with an equivalent surface. Exceptions are given: along the axes of the tram, the surface to be compensated corresponds to half the area of ​​u200bu200bthe furnished housing. “If there is more harassment, the regulations are more flexible,” the elected official continues. The city wants to mitigate the massive seasonal rental center “to avoid making it a tourist area”, and move these users into priority areas or into vacant housing because it’s in a bad location, above a bar or restaurant.

The authenticity of the Strasbourg way: Airbnb housing quotas per building – not per area, as in Saint-Malo: the maximum roof area for furnished tourist accommodation must not exceed 40% of the building’s roof area.

Contact : Suzanne Brolly, suzanne.brolly@strasbourg.eu