Paris and New York to ban short term apartment rentals

Two of the most expensive cities in world for hotels are Paris and New York.  One alternative to the expensive hotels is for visitors to rent apartments short term.  Short term is understood to mean anything from a couple of days to a couple of months.  Short term rental apartments are fully furnished and generally cost a lot less than reasonable hotels.  Of course, both cities have many cheap hotels that eschew many basic services and amenities; but if you wish for something reasonable in an interesting part of town, then short term apartments can be the ideal alternative to hotels.

Finding apartments in either city is usually no problem as a simple search on Google, or any other search engine, reveals plenty of websites which specialise in short term rentals.

Now for the bad news.  Firstly, the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe has warned property owners that renting out an apartment for less than a year violates France’s laws.  The reason given for this crackdown is that there is a shortage of affordable housing in Paris, so long term residents should be given precedence over short term visitors.  In a city with 1.3 million residences some tens of thousands are owned by foreigners who use them for only a few weeks each year, so rent them out on a short term basis when they are not there.  Not only does this practice deny good accommodation to Parisians, it can be financially more rewarding than renting out long term  for which lower rates are charged.

Hot on the heels of Paris, the burgers of the Big Apple have also decided to legislate to outlaw rentals of less than 30 days.  The difference here is that any move against apartment owners would be based on complaints from neighbours, so one way to get around the proposed laws would be to pay neighbours not to complain, which would raise short term rents, but still keep them profitable.

The problem with the laws in both cities is that each has thousands of short term apartments available and it would be difficult to police any short term arrangements.  With the internet and social networking sites now in common use, clever means of getting around the laws are bound to be discovered and exploited.

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