Tourism: In the face of Airbnb-type platforms, French cities are regulated

After the arc of Covid, the confrontation between tourist rental platforms on the one hand, and municipalities and hotel professionals on the other has resumed with renewed vigor. In front of an audience of hotel associations assembled on the occasion of the “ReformBnB” conference held in Paris on May 23-24, Mayors and Representatives took turns discussing the inconveniences caused by the explosion of tourist rents in their municipality, as well as as the answers they propose.

→ analysis. Paris mayor slows down process of converting shops into furnished tourist accommodations

One of their main complaints is the reduced rental offer for residents, when landlords book accommodation for tourist rental all year round. Or unfair competition with professionals in the sector, such as hoteliers.

Paris, the symbol of the confrontation between platforms and municipalities

Ian Brusatte, housing assistant at City Hall in Paris, noted that the capital has long been trying to limit the emergence of rental platforms with the excesses that could ensue. Paris struggles to control excesses, particularly those of owners who do not respect the limit imposed in the capital (and in about fifty other cities) of 120 days a year for rent. Beyond this limit, the rental is considered professional.

The data still has to be transferred from the platforms. Last October, Booking was thus ordered to pay more than 1 million euros to the Town Hall in Paris, due to the failure to respect the obligation to transmit this data.

To facilitate the exchange of information between platforms and municipalities, the government launched the Furnished API trial last February, and it is currently limited to Bordeaux, Lyon, La Rochelle, Nice and Strasbourg. Several platforms (including Airbnb,, and Le bon coin) have committed to transmitting their data in a transparent and immediate manner.

Outside the big cities, a national phenomenon

These problems are not confined to urban areas. “The city of Biarritz has been emptied of its inhabitants”, The mayor, Meder Arostegui, worried. The official-elect refers to the loans that banks give to investors who specialize in Airbnb rentals. In fact, the municipal community wants to create a compensation system similar to the one already in place in Paris.

It is clear that every landlord wishing to rent an apartment for tourist rental will have to put an equivalent surface in the traditional rental market.

tax temptation

But the elected official from the Basque Country wants to go further, playing on taxes, which she wants to tighten for short-term rents, and ease considerably for this year’s rental property owners. An idea supported by Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables-d’Olonne: “Partial or total exemption from rental income will make it possible to relaunch rent throughout the year, and fight Airbnb, which distorts tourist cities.”

→ explanation. Can We Stop Creating “Airbnb Neighborhoods”?

The City of Vendee has also, since 1 March, introduced a cap on the number of tourist accommodations per region. this scale, “Last Chance Tool” For the mayor, it is inspired by a similar decision taken by the city of Saint-Malo in June 2021.

In the face of these criticisms, players of tourist rentals are emphasizing the role that platforms play. “They want to be recognized for their contribution to the economy,” Explains Dominic DeBoyer, president of the National Association for the Promotion of Holiday Rentals (UNPLV), who joined CrossWho regrets the post “scapegoat for housing policies”.