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US News Illegal tourist rentals: the Court of Justice of the EU ruled in favor of the City of Paris

12:40  22 september  2020
12:40  22 september  2020 Source:   lemonde.fr

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In the Court of Justice , each case is assigned 1 judge (the "judge-rapporteur") and 1 advocate general. The parties give written statements to the Court - and observations can also be submitted by national authorities, EU institutions and sometimes private individuals.

The EU Court of Justice ruled against two Airbnb owners who were fined after repeatedly and without authorisation rent for short periods to a transient clientele. The EU court has confirmed previous decisions regarding short-term repeated letting of accommodation in Paris - Copyright Alban

The judges were seized in 2018 by the Court of Cassation, itself seized by two owners of Parisian studios condemned for having rented their goods without the prior authorization of the Town Hall.

The City of Paris has just won a major battle in its fight against Airbnb. On Tuesday September 22, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its ruling in the case between the City and two rental companies of tourist accommodation - the companies Cali Apartments and HX. A decision eagerly awaited by Paris, and 21 other European cities, as well as by the tourist rental platform Airbnb, of which a large part of the activity is at stake in this matter.

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Each year, the Court of Justice of the European Union is host, in Luxembourg, to around 4 000 legal professionals: national judges, barristers, solicitors, university professors, in-house lawyers, etc. The programmes enable them to widen their knowledge of the judicial institution and of its case-law.

Article 1 The Court of Justice of the European Union shall be constituted and shall function in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties, of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC Treaty) and of this Statute. Title I judges and advocates general.

The two rental companies, sentenced on May 19, 2017, on appeal, to a fine of 15,000 euros for renting a studio without authorization, had appealed to the Court of Cassation which, on November 15, 2018, in turn transmitted to the CJEU a preliminary question on the compatibility of French regulations with European Directive 2006-123 on the freedom to provide services in the internal market.

Airbnb: the Mairie de Paris offensive, the wait-and-see owners

In their judgment, the European judges declare that French legislation fully complies with EU law, considering that the fight against the shortage of housing intended for long-term rental duration constitutes an overriding reason in the general interest justifying the regulation of a Member State. They note that "the activity of renting furnished premises of short duration has a significant inflationary effect on the level of rents, in particular in Paris and in other French cities", thus grateful to the City of Paris and to the State the right to establish an authorization regime. According to them, the existing regime in Paris is moreover "proportionate to the objective pursued, clear, objective, non-arbitrary and transparent".

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Consultation of Parisians

French law authorizes the short-term rental of one's main residence for a maximum period of 120 days per year. For other premises, the construction code provides that, in towns with more than 200,000 inhabitants and those in the inner suburbs of Paris, this activity may be subject to an authorization to change residential use into commercial tourist activity.

In Paris, this change of use is, moreover, granted only if the owner compensates for the square meters thus lost for the dwelling by transforming, in the same district or even in the same district, as many (sometimes more) of square meters of office or commercial residential premises. The process is therefore almost inaccessible to individuals, but European judges also validate this obligation as "an adequate instrument for the pursuit of these objectives", referring to national courts the task of verifying that this option effectively responds to a housing shortage in the territory of the municipality concerned.

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Since 1952, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ensured that European Union law is observed and properly applied in the Member States. Over time, it has delivered judgments which have strengthened European integration while granting citizens increasingly extensive rights, in

The General Court , informally known as the European General Court (EGC), is a constituent court of the Court of Justice of the European Union .

“Nice victory! (...) We won ", launched in two tweets the deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, Ian Brossat (PCF). For its part, the Airbnb platform has declared that it welcomes this decision, which will help clarify the rules applicable to guests who share second homes in Paris ”. "We look forward to working closely with local authorities on regulation that is proportionate, puts families and local communities first and works for all," she added.

The City of Paris estimates that 5,000 rental companies in the capital carry out tourist rental illegally, without authorization or compensation, and has sued 350 of them from whom it is demanding the maximum fine of 15,000 euros. , raised, by the ELAN law (for changes in housing, development and digital) of 23 November 2018, to 50,000 euros plus a fine of 1,000 euros per square meter rented and per day of delay, up to their regularization. The procedures will therefore be able to resume.

The City of Paris maintains its idea of ​​consulting Parisians on the tightening of the regime for tourist rentals of main residences, wishing to lower the maximum duration from 120 to 30 or 60 days. A local referendum that has no legal effect, but is intended as a means of persuasion to convince the government and Parliament to change the law on this point.

The City of Paris offers an arrangement to Airbnb rental companies in violation

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