In blow to Airbnb, EU court rules cities can restrict short-term rentals
Ruling favors cities that have been looking for ways to legally restrict the number of properties that can be used for short-term rentals.
Tourist hot spots may impose restrictions on short-term rentals if they suffer from a shortage of affordable housing, according to a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that goes against Airbnb landlords.
The ruling favors cities around the European Union that have been looking for ways to legally restrict the number of properties that can be used for short-term rentals, namely by Airbnb landlords.
Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, applauded the ruling which handed her a win in a long-running standoff with Airbnb.
“This victory, expected by several cities, marks a turning point in terms of the regulation of short-term rentals as well as a milestone for the right to housing for all,” she tweeted.
The case pits two Airbnb landlords, referred to as Cali apartments and HX, against the attorney general of the Paris Court of Appeal and the city of Paris. The city of Paris fined the landlords €15,000 and €25,000 respectively for letting studio apartments in Paris through the Airbnb platform without authorization from the mayor.
The court found that Paris had been right to impose an authorization scheme to the professional letting of the apartments as a way to control its housing market and avoid a housing shortage. Such authorization schemes could go against the EU’s Services Directive, but in this case the court found it justified.
“We welcome this ruling that will help clarify the rules for hosts who share secondary home homes in Paris,” a spokesperson for Airbnb said in a statement.
According to the company, the vast majority of its Parisian apartments are primarily residential properties. While the company is not a party in the case, it is the subject of a referendum by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who wants to free up the platform’s tourist rental apartments for her city’s residents.
The ruling is in line with a prior opinion from Advocate General Michal Bobek.