Paris is suing Airbnb for illegal listings

Airbnb faces a lawsuit from the city of Paris.
Airbnb faces a lawsuit from the city of Paris.

Image: Chesnot/Getty Images

Paris is one of the most popular destinations for Airbnb, but the city’s authorities are at odds with the company.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced on Sunday the city would be suing Airbnb to the tune of $14 million, due to the alleged listing of 1,000 illegal rentals.

Hidalgo made the announcement in French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, and said she didn’t take issue with Parisians who rent their home “a few days a year,” but those who treat it like a business.

“The problem is the multi-owners who rent all year round apartments to tourists without declaring them, and the platforms, accomplices, who welcome them,” she said.

French law limits owners from renting out their properties for more than 120 days a year in certain cities, like Lille, Lyon, and Paris. 

The law was introduced following criticism short-term rental sites like Airbnb were contributing to increased housing prices and shortages.

Hidalgo said authorities could potentially fine each illegal property 12,500 Euros ($14,240) each. Owners are required to register their Airbnb properties with local authorities, and must display the registration number in the listing.

Whatever the fine may be, it might just be drop in the ocean for Airbnb, which in the third quarter of 2018 recorded more than $1 billion in revenue, and is on track to be profitable for the second year in a row.

Airbnb has been contacted for comment.

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