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Paris Mayor Delanoë sets his sights on owners of multiple vacation properties

Despite his threat to vigorously prosecute and end short-term rentals in Paris, to date Mayor Delanoë’s office has done little more than cause a scare. Capital magazine, a Paris-based monthly, interviews Jean-Marc Agnes, President of the Association of Professionals Holiday Rentals (APLM), to get the latest on this ongoing debate. That conversation is translated below. Since the beginning of the year, short-term rental apartments are in the sights of Paris’ city hall. Have formal notices to owners in fact been sent?

Jean-Marc Agnes: To date and to our knowledge, only five owners have been prosecuted by the mayor and condemned to halt their short-term rentals. The judgments were rulings without published opinions on the merits, and do not set legal precedent. What’s more, the formal notices and subsequent prosecutions were of owners with a number of properties that they rent short-term in the manner of a commercial enterprise. These owners are not representative of the short-term rental market in Paris. Isn’t it true that the growth of weekly tourist rentals in Paris aggravates the already critical housing shortage in Paris? 

Jean-Marc Agnes: No. The pool of short-term rental properties is only 20,000 homes. That is just 3% of the total rental market in Paris. Moreover, contrary to what some elected officials would like us to believe, short-term furnished apartments are not only for foreign tourists, but address a number of needs: more and more company employees on short-term placement in Paris prefer this option hotel accommodations, families opt for short-term rentals while they search for long-term housing, or renovate their home, or for other specific needs … Aren’t the large number of vacant apartments and unused office space in the city a far more significant problem affecting the long-term housing market? What income can you expect from a furnished short-term rental property? 

Agnes Jean-Marc: Studio apartments in the best neighborhoods in Paris rent for around 600 euros per week. But because of turnover, furnished seasonal rentals necessitate expenditures for service and maintenance that are higher than traditional rentals. What’s more, they are rented on average only 22 weeks per year. So, a studio can normally bring in an annual net income of between 12,000 and 14,000 euros before tax, at most about 10% to 20% more than a long-term rental lease.

Source: Capital Magazine, Oct 3, 2011  

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