Why ‘anti-Airbnb’ regulations are so controversial in the Basque Country

Several hundred people From the collection “Herrian bizi” (“Stay in the Basque Country”), About thirty associations and housing players such as Soliha (housing with social invitation) and the Abbé Pierre Foundation, gathered on the evening of Wednesday 8 June in front of the Community Basque Country (CAPB) headquarters in Bayonne. Objective: to alert once again to the housing shortage.

And after the general meeting on June 4, this was the second meeting of the mass crowd promising others, after a court decision that did not pass. On June 3, the Administrative Court in Pau suspended new CAPB regulations on furnished rentals. Supposed to encourage owners to rent out their properties to locals rather than tourists, it came into effect last June 1… before being suspended two days later.

Why Airbnb is changing the rules of the game in Bordeaux from July 30th

Sharp increase in the supply of furnished rentals

In this touristy and attractive area where residents have long been unable to find accommodation, prices have skyrocketed and the number of second homes has risen, the anti-Airbnb leverage is especially strong. On the part of the residents, but also on the part of the mayors. According to the conglomerate, the number of furnished rental ads jumped +130% between 2016 and 2020, rising from 7,150 to 16,440 units! Above all, two-thirds of this accommodation is rented for more than four months of the year, more than the French legal limit of 120 days, and thus would be either second homes or housing intended for tourists and not for residents, students and local staff.

The Basque Country wants less new housing but more social housing

The goal was to encourage landlords to rent to local residents and to prevent the spread of civic real estate companies that elected officials, after months of debate, 95% of the vote voted on a new list on 5 March: it does not belong to only 24 municipalities, mainly coastal (Anglet , Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Bidart …), the so-called “tension” area out of a total of 158. The main measure is compensation, used especially in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux: in order to be able to rent accommodation to tourists in the Basque Country, it was necessary Offering other housing for rent on an annual basis, but only a previously uninhabited property, of similar size and located in the same city. Stone’s estate owners and concierge immediately asked the Administrative Court of Poe to rule on the legality of the measure, arguing that the period leading up to the execution was too short. The judges held on June 3 that the conglomerate should review its transcript. Meanwhile, current regulations remain in place while the State Council for Islamic Affairs (CAPB) announced the takeover of the State Council by June 18.

To better understand the different situations, take a look at the key dates of the Basque version of this power game between landlords, rental platforms and local elected officials that takes place in many tourist areas, in France and around the world.

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CAPB, during the September 28, 2019 vote, tightened regulations regarding furnished rentals by requiring owners to publicize this activity. Since January 2020, it is necessary, but only in 24 municipalities of the so-called “stressed” area, from the city hall to request a “change of use” permit in order to be able to rent a room, apartment or house whether it is the main or secondary housing. This authorization is valid for three years and can only be issued for one or two properties per person depending on the municipality, and Anglet, Biarritz and Hendaye are among the strictest. The registration number must be sent in each declaration and allows the Town Hall to collect the tourism tax more easily, but above all to check if the lessor is respecting the 120-day rental limit.

Demonstration gathering 8000 people in Baiyun, organized by Collective “Herrian bizi” (“Residence in the Basque Country”). Alda Association (“Changer”), created a year ago and guarantee “independent of any political authority”, It was demonstrated throughout the year by aggressive actions, such as the banners displayed on rental properties on Airbnb, in order to challenge both owners and city halls. Recordings “Euskal Herria ez da salgai” (“The Basque Country is not for sale”) has also appeared on real estate agencies and homes for sale.

CAPB estimates that there are 12,000 vacant homes and 42,000 second homes for an area of ​​just over 300,000 residents, with the population growing. Considering that the rent is furnished “It contributes to the strengthening of the tension over supply, to the inflationary trend in real estate prices exacerbated by the high profitability of short-term rentals and, finally, to the socio-spatial segregation, as the middle classes are forced to move away from the coast”the conglomerate votes on new regulations, effective June 1, 2022. It also strengthens the monitoring teams, but promises tolerance in the first summer.

“In the Basque Country, there is a real shortage of commercial buildings and warehouses”

After a hearing on May 30, the Administrative Court of Pau decided in summary proceedings, ruling only on the form of the text and not the substance, in favor of about sixty applicants defended by the Parisian Cabinet of Mr. Victor Steinberg. The judges are of the view that the compensation procedure, in addition to being too costly according to the plaintiffs, cannot be respected. ‘Scarcity or even lack of eligible places’. This principle, which limits the right to property, was ratified by the European Court of Justice in September 2020 and then by the Court of Cassation in February 2021 for Paris by “A major cause of public interest related to combating the shortage of rental housing.”. For Bao Court, the data provided by the CAPB “Do not prove that the alleged shortage will be of such magnitude as to prevent many people from finding housing”. CAPB, sorry “Negative message sent to residents”appreciate it “The interest of a few has overtaken the public interest.”.

The hearing on the merits should not take place until the beginning of 2023 in the Administrative Court of Bo. The decision of the State Council, which must be considered by the CAPB before June 18, can intervene before, since the average time between the submission of an application and its ruling is one year. At the same time, the House, Senate and new representatives, who have all submitted housing proposals to the legislative elections, will try to find other means to reduce seasonal rents. “As long as the appeal is not examined on the merits, no investor will take the risk of purchasing a residence designated for housing to convert it into permanent tourist accommodation,” Meditation Alda.

In Bo, the real estate market has reached new heights