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Talia Avakian
February 12, 2019

The city of Paris is suing Airbnb for $14.2 million, citing 1,010 allegedly illegal listings.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo made the announcement in an exclusive interview with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche over the weekend, saying renters were taking advantage of current regulations. 

"I have nothing against Parisians who rent their home a few days a year to make some cash," Hidalgo said, as translated by The Local. "The problem is those who own multiple properties who rent apartments all-year-round to tourists without declaring them, and the online platforms, which are accomplices, welcoming them."

The city sent Airbnb a subpoena on Friday. 

French law currently prohibits owners from renting out properties for more than 120 days a year in cities like Paris. Regulations passed in late 2018 allowed the government to hold companies like Airnbnb responsible by fines of up to €12,500 per each illegal posting listed on its website. Renters are also required to have a registration number on each advertisement to avoid spaces being rented for longer. 

Parisian officials are now looking to use these regulations, and the 1,010 advertisements claimed to violate these policies, in court proceedings, although Airbnb representatives say the company has been honoring current regulations and informed all renters of the regulations after they were placed. 

Starting on Jan. 1, 2019, Airbnb's platform disabled hosts from having the ability to make future reservations on their primary residences once they hit their 120-day limit. Under the current regulations, guests will also be unable to book a property if the primary residence has been rented out for over 120 days within the calendar year. 

Related: How to Avoid a Vacation Rental Nightmare

Since the new change went into effect in January of 2019, Airbnb is still honoring reservations made by guests that were confirmed prior to this date. Hosts who rented their listings out ahead of time in 2018 for more than 120 days of this year will also be allowed to honor their existing bookings, though they will be unable to accept new bookings for 2019. 

“Airbnb has already worked with other STR platforms on measures to help Parisian hosts share their homes and follow the rules, while respecting EU law,” a spokesperson told Travel + Leisure. “Meanwhile, we remain convinced that Paris' broken and disproportionate STR rules breaks EU rules and have a negative impact on the 1 in 5 Parisians that use Airbnb; we look forward to making our case in court and to working with everyone on better solutions for everyone in Paris.”

According to Le Journal Du Dimanche, City Hall is currently asking that all non-compliant ads be removed from the platform, with further updates expected in the beginning of March. 

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