The latest on hosting
In France, the situation remains tense between online rental platforms and authorities. Last Wednesday the 22nd June, Airbnb organized a cocktail party at the Pantheon Cinema Salon in Paris where over 150 hosts gathered to discuss the famous "license to rent" and the current legislative situation that frames the practice of seasonal rentals. In summary, the standoff continues with the authorities, but more than that ... A new player has entered the scene.
Review of the facts
In late April, the Senate adopted an amendment to the digital bill. The amendment has made it obligatory to register with the city hall any rental properties in municipalities of over 200,000 inhabitants as well as those of the Hauts-de-Seine, the Seine Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne counties. In an attempt to denounce these administrative burdens, Airbnb launched an online petition against the provision on May 10th.
A petition that mobilizes
At the Paris meeting, Nicolas Ferrary, Director of Airbnb France, announced that the petition had collected 40,000 signatures and that he had, on June 14th, given it to Jean-Vincent Placé, Minister of State for State Reform and Simplification. Meanwhile, 3,000 emails from hosts were sent to the Prime Minister Manuel Valls to denounce this "license to rent."
The legislative calendar
On the 29th of June, the text will be passed to a Joint Committee, bringing together seven deputies and seven senators, to come to an agreement on the language in both chambers: the National Assembly and the Senate. Pending the decision, Nicolas Ferrary encourages hosts to continue their mobilization via the blog Airbnb Action and in particular to invite politicians into their rentals so that they can discover Airbnb’s Spirt of Conviviality first hand!
Nicolas Ferrary, Director of Airbnb France, at the meetup in Paris 22nd June, 2016
The response of the hoteliers
The second largest market after the United States, France has surpassed 300,000 registered properties on Airbnb. In 2015, of the 83 million travellers who visited the country, 5 million stayed in an Airbnb. Given this success, voices are rising. Thus, a few days before the Commission, tourism professionals decided to put pressure on Parliament by publicly announcing on the 23rd June, that they are filing a complaint (dating back to last November) for "unfair competition" for online rental platforms. Notably; Airbnb, Abritel (HomeAway), Le Bon Coin, Booking.com, seloger.com etc.
This complaint was lodged by the Association of Acteurs de l’hébergement et du tourisme professionnels - AhTop (Stakeholders of Hospitality and Tourism professionals). Its founder and president Jean-Bernard Falco explains it to the AFP, asking "parliamentarians and the government to include in the final bill the need to justify one’s capacity as an owner, or the permission of the lessor to rent a property on these platforms; the requirement that platforms declare their users’ income to the tax authorities; the possibility for towns to set up an owner's registration procedure and finally the obligation of platforms to ensure that no main residence is rented for more than 120 days a year through them. "
TO BE CONTINUED...