The City of Paris is suing Airbnb for $14 million over 1,000 illegal rental advertisements. The mayor of Paris made an announcement in an interview published on Sunday February 10th, stating that Airbnb’s ads have violated a law designed to limit homeowners to rent their places on short-term rental platforms for no more than 120 days per year.
Although it’s not clear on what grounds this fine has been imposed, but it looks like Airbnb missed out on displaying the registration number in their ads, which as per French law is needed to ensure that they aren’t venturing past the 120-day mark.
Talking about it, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, “The goal is to send a shot across the bows to get it over with unauthorized rentals that spoil some Parisian neighborhoods.”
The law was passed by France in 2018, under which, companies such as Airbnb are punishable by fines of €12,500 per illegal posting, which would cost $14.2 million if every Airbnb ad is deemed illegal.
In response, a spokeswoman for Airbnb said that the company has implemented necessary measures to help its Paris website users comply with European rules, but adding further to it, she said that rules in Paris were “inefficient, disproportionate and in contravention of European rules.”
With over 65,000 home listings, Paris is Airbnb’s single biggest market, while France is the second-largest market after the United States. If Airbnb is planning to defy the law, it would suffer a huge financial blow and may have to give up the control of a wildly popular tourist destination to its major competitors such as HomeAway.
Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb allows people to rent out all or part of their homes to temporary guests, via their website and app.