Illegal Airbnb rentals: this document that worries the Paris City Hall

H2. No, this is not the code name for a victory in a naval battle. These two small letters cause a lot of problems in the city hall of Paris. It all started with the decision of the Court of Cassation in February 2021. The arsenal of “anti-Airbnb” (do not exceed the ceiling of 120 days of rent per year, get the consent of the mayor’s office if this is the case, or in the case of secondary residences …) was found to be legal. Since then, the Paris City Hall believed that it would systematically win lawsuits against more than 400 owners who illegally rented their second home and risked, if found guilty, a maximum fine of €50,000 (section L651). – 2 building and housing code). Not!

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In order to do so, the city must indeed prove that the infringing dwelling was indeed a dwelling on January 1, 1970, and not after that date, as required by law (Building and Dwelling Section L631-7). “This proof is needed to convict an owner who is renting like Airbnb without permission.“, emphasizes Maître Valentin Simonnet, lawyer at STAS & Associés. Problem: 50-year-old documentdoes not always include the data requested by the judge, namely the name of the tenant, the rent paid on January 1, 1970, and the date of entry into the premises.“, – said Me Xavier Demeuzoy, founder of Demeuzoy Avocats.

A real obstacle course that “City Hall lawyers panicked when my clients won in the first instance”, instructs Figaro landowner’s attorney. The latter rushed into the gap for more or less in their favor. “On about 80 files, I got a 90% win rate in the first instance. I just got my first win in a case that the mayor’s office has filed an appeal against.“Says Lauren Dery, lawyer at the Paris Bar, who is defending in this appeal the owner of 14 m² in Montmartre (Paris 18), who received almost 3,000 euros in reimbursement.

Running water, erasures, unsigned form…

Crossed-out entries, undated H2 sheets, or illegible lot identification may be enough to win a case against City Hall.“, emphasizes Me Demeuzoy, who has managed to get about half of the 150 cases he defends to have the mayor’s office reject his claim for a fine of 50,000 euros. Even a simple plumbing can confuse Paris. “There is no bathroom and toilet in the premises, and there is no running water, which is contrary to the residential purpose.“, ruled the Court of Appeal of Paris, which agreed with the owner in question, in a decision delivered in September last year, that Le Figaro has gained. Contacted, Paris City Hall did not respond to our request.

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Whether these owner-friendly solutions set a precedent remains to be seen. “I reasonably assume that all cases in which the City Hall of Paris reports an H2 form that does not mention rent as of January 1, 1970, will be won by the opposing parties, unless the City Hall provides additional evidence to report the use of the housing. the premises to which it belongs on that imperative dateLauren Dery says. And that is not all. But what about the owners who won the case? Will they be able to rent their second home on Airbnb again? “In my opinion, yes, because they can refer to the principle of “res judicata”. But I advise them to wait to see if the mayor’s office will file an appeal in cassation. If it’s not, I answer them yes– answers Me Romain Rossi-Landy, who won in the first case 18 cases out of twenty.

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