Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Paris to Crack Down on Vacation Rentals
New York's not the only world city grappling with this issue. Today, the New York Times reported that the city of Paris in France will start enforcing a little-known, 2005 law which forbids rentals of less than a year. Violators who are caught face fines of 25,000 euros; repeat offenders could pay 1000 euros, per meter per day. Ka-ching!
The police had been originally charged with enforcing the law, but since they haven't been doing so, the Mayor recently turned the matter over to the city's residential housing agency. So far, 25 cease and desist letters have been sent out and the city's rental agencies, many long-established businesses, are in a panic. They've formed an organization to try and lobby the city to strike down the law, arguing that short-term rentals are important economic engines and serve a social need. To that end, the agents have commissioned a study on the matter, which should be released in the fall.
All in all, its bad news for budget travelers, many of whom were able to significantly trim their vacation costs in the City of Light by renting affordable apartments, shopping in Paris' marvelous food markets and cooking for themselves.
Since the mayor's housing agency only has 5 staffers, I'm guessing that, for now, most rentals will slip through unnoticed. But I hate to think of a tourist showing up in Paris with a stay booked, only to find that they have lost their deposit and will now have to scramble for a hotel because an owner's been caught.
I'm going to follow the issue closely and will inform you of any developments.
(Photo by Walter Watzpatzkowski)