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City of Paris to sue Airbnb for €12.5m over 1,000 illegal rental ads on site





The city of Paris is suing Airbnb for publishing 1,000 illegal rental adverts, which could cost the American website more than €12.5m, the mayor of Paris has said.

Under French law, home owners in Paris can rent out their places on short-term rental platforms for up to 120 days a year.

Advertisements must include a registration number to help ensure properties are not rented out for longer.

France passed a law in 2018 which makes companies such as Airbnb punishable by fines of €12,500 per illegal posting, a new provision Paris will use to challenge Airbnb in court, said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

"The goal is to send a shot across the bows to get it over with unauthorised rentals that spoil some Parisian neighbourhoods," she said in the interview with the 'Journal du Dimanche' newspaper.

Several cities around the world have expressed concerns that platforms such as Airbnb stand as unfair competitors to hotels and can turn some neighbourhoods into sterile, tourist-only zones.

A spokeswoman for Airbnb said it had implemented measures to help Parisian users of its website comply with European rules.

However, she added that the rules in Paris were "inefficient, disproportionate and in contravention of European rules".

France is Airbnb's second largest market after the United States. Paris, one of the most visited cities in the world, is its biggest single market, with around 65,000 homes listed.

In Ireland, restrictions on short-term lets will come into effect from June. They will be more severe than those currently in place in Paris.

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From June, homeowners will be allowed to rent their properties for no more than 14 days at a time, and for fewer than 90 days a year.

For short-term lets above 90 days, planning permission will have to be granted to allow the property to be used on a commercial basis.

In addition, in areas with a high demand for housing, including the main cities, local authorities will be allowed to refuse permission.

The new regulations come as the number of homes being advertised for short-term lets on Airbnb rose by more than 1,000 in the past year.

Figures from AirDNA, which analyses market trends across the globe, show there are 6,228 active rentals in Dublin - 3,629 of which were entire homes.

The average daily rate charged was €139.

Under the new rules, anyone renting on Airbnb will also be required to register with the local authority.

Dublin City Council will be given additional resources to monitor and implement the new system. Owners found not to be compliant may be subject to prosecution.

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