The anti-Airbnb lever in the Basque Country has been slowed down by justice


Jean-Noel Echvi, better known as Txetx, is a platform spokesperson and activist for Alda

Storm brewing in the Basque Country. Last March, elected representatives from the conglomerate community voted to make a binding compensation measure for owners of short-term rental accommodation such as Airbnb. The idea was to force them to put another dwelling on the market, intended for year-round rental. But Bo Administrative Court has just challenged their deliberations. The elect are angry. And the associations, formed as a platform, have every intention of continuing the pressure and demonstrating again on Wednesday.

The elected representatives of the Basque country, by an overwhelming majority, have made a political decision to regulate the tourist rental market and limit the exponential development of the Airbnb digital platform. The measure, which was voted on on March 5, went into effect on 1Verse June … and stopped dead on June 3 by the decision of the Administrative Court of Bo. On May 3, 50 owners and concierge companies filed before the Administrative Court for interim measures. In its order, the court indicated that there was doubt as to the legality of the deliberation as such a measure “It is likely to violate the principle of proportionality.” In other words, the judge fears that the owners will not have enough places to meet the new rule.

The beginning of a long legal journey

Elected officials who want to defend the right to housing for residents year-round and contain the impact of rapidly growing tourist activity are disappointed and angry. The head of the conglomerate Jean-René Echegaray is ironic “The poor civilian real estate companies that have exploded in recent years for purely profitable purposes.” A community-commissioned study lists 16,500 furnished rental advertisements in 2020 on the relevant ocean for 14 coastal and coastal retrofit municipalities. compared to 7,150 in 2016. That is an increase of 130% in 5 years.

The agglomeration community will appeal to the State Council at the risk of a long legal journey. After the succinctly taken decision, the Administrative Court must deliberate on the merits, which at best will not take place before 2023.

About thirty different associations, unions and local groups formed the “Se loger au pays” protest platform. It calls for a rally on Wednesday, June 7, at 7 p.m., in front of the urban community buildings in Bayonne.

The same platform is behind a demonstration that gathered 8,000 people in the streets of Baiyun last November. “Here, employees sleep in their cars. Others have to leave to live away and travel at least an hour by car to come to work. Still others have fraudulent leases that force them to vacate their homes in the summer. The Director of the Biarritz City Administration left his post because he could not find Affordable housing! » It tells Jean-Noel Echvi, better known as Txetx, a platform spokesperson and activist for the Alda Association (photo).

Enforce common property regulations

For association activists, the decision of the Administrative Court is inadmissible because the governor himself is aware of the tension over housing by setting the appeal period stipulated in the Dalo system to three years in the Basque Country, when he is only one year in Béarn, in the same province of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Therefore, the Citizen Program wants to pressure the bloc’s elected officials to adopt new deliberations that go in the same direction as the first, but incorporate the judge’s remarks. “Similar action taken by the city of Bordeaux was also attacked, but the city won its case,” Txetx gets annoyed.

The platform will grab another lever by targeting co-ownership regulations. “Most co-ownership excludes businesses. However, the case law is official: renting on Airbnb is already a business. So we will tell the professionals involved to put an end to this type of activity. And we will go to court for as long as it takes.” Txetx warns.

bleeding stopped

The only positive point in this growing tension: “In light of the open debate in court, no one would risk investing in short-term rentals, with the risk of seeing their project collapse in a few months. We were able to stop the bleeding. On the other hand, this first decision prevents us from reclaiming some of the 11,000 homes that must Use it to house the locals.”

This profile was closely followed by the elected representatives of several regions, in particular on the Atlantic coast. “There are small owners who need additional income, Recognizes Txetx. But this cannot be done at the expense of the territory. The climatic footprint and soil synthesis performed by dwelling creation must serve first and foremost those who live here. It’s an emergency.”

Cyril Betowa

Photo: Alda . Association

Published on 08/06/2022

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