A recent ruling from a court in Paris declared that the lawsuit levied against Airbnb for creating illegal listings was unfounded and dismissed the case immediately. Just last month, Airbnb was sued by the City of Paris for creating 1,010 illegal listings on their site. The Mayor’s office in Paris stated Airbnb violated city regulations while creating their listings.
Airbnb is a private organization that operates in the hospitality sector. It uses the internet to let its users create listings such as homestays and lodging facilities for their guests. Airbnb takes a cut from the money generated through the site by its members. The company does not legally own any property or real estate holdings that it hosts in its site.
Many people have complained that Airbnb wreaks havoc on the housing market and increases the rents and prices of the property on where it operates. The City of Paris was actively trying to mitigate the adverse effects of Airbnb on the housing market of Paris. As Paris is a popular city among tourists, it is one of the most lucrative cities for Airbnb as a large portion of tourists who use the site frequently visit this city on a regular basis. This has caused many residents of Paris to take their properties off the housing market to list it on the site of Airbnb. Thus, the rental prices in some regions of Paris have skyrocketed over the last couple of years.
Anne Hidalgo, who is the Mayor of Paris, was not in favor of banning Airbnb initially. The mayor’s office simply wanted the members of Airbnb to obtain an ID which would enable the city officials to track the number of nights a member would list his or her property to host on Airbnb. A member cannot legally rent out an apartment for more than 120 days in a calendar year.
Unfortunately, many listings failed to obtain an ID which made it almost impossible for the city officials to track the number of nights a member would list his property for on Airbnb. The mayor’s office was forced to flag some 1000 apartments that had no ID. The mayor also blamed Airbnb for not doing much to prevent this situation from escalating.
The court ruled in favor of Airbnb because they deemed that the screenshots are not enough to prove that the apartments which don’t have any ID are being made permanently available on Airbnb. So, there is a reasonable chance of certainty that these apartments are not being rented out for more than 120 days in a calendar year.
Although the recent ruling by the Paris court may go in favor of Airbnb, it is not over yet and some proceedings are still left to be carried out by the court. The recent development suggests that the Mayor’s Office doesn’t have a strong case against Airbnb, and this company might be left off the hook after all.