Airbnb says had proposed alternative to forcing Paris hosts to register rentals

PARIS (Reuters) – Short-term rental website Airbnb said on Thursday it had proposed for Paris and other large French cities to create automated limits to ensure its hosts did not rent their property beyond the 120 days a year legal limit for a main residence in France.

Airbnb was reacting after a Paris city council decision on Tuesday made it mandatory from December for people renting their apartments on short-term rental websites such as Airbnb to register their property with the town hall.

The decision had been welcomed by French hoteliers, who see the rental service as unfair competition.

“We had proposed Paris and other large French cities an alternative to the registration with the automatic blocking to 120 nights of lodgings on Airbnb in order to avoid hidden professional use (of the service),” Airbnb spokesman Aurelien Perol told Reuters.

Airbnb will comply with the city of Paris’ decision though its solution would have been more efficient and less costly than the one chosen, he added.

In the face of intense lobbying from the French hotel industry, Airbnb also stressed that it contributed to the development of tourism in France and was a source of extra income for many Parisian families, he said.

With 350,000 listings, France is Airbnb’s second-largest market after the United States, and Paris, the most visited city in the world, is its biggest single market, with 65,000 homes.



(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, editing by David Evans)