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If passed, local authorities would have more power to regulate rentals.

A proposed law in France would give local authorities more power to clamp down on short-term and vacation rentals to respond to housing shortages and overtourism.

The French national assembly is considering a law that would require landlords to offer long-term housing for each unit they rent out on platforms like Airbnb and that would eliminate a tax advantage for short-term holiday rentals.

Owners of short-term rentals can currently reduce their taxable income by 71%, compared to 30% for property owners who rent out long-term. This advantage would be scrapped under the proposal, though there would be an exemption for those in sparsely populated rural areas.

If passed, this would impact holiday rental platforms, especially Airbnb, which says France is its second-largest market. 

A group of short-term rental professionals in France pushed back against the proposal. “The housing issue in France is a fact, but scapegoating the vacation-rental industry is a mistake,” said Marie Pistinier, president of Syndicat des Professionnels de la Location Meublée. “We firmly advocate for an inclusive approach in the decision-making process, demanding that all relevant data be considered comprehensively in formulating regulations and not only cliché about platforms.”

Chris Maughan, who heads AES Events, a Cannes-based property management company isn’t surprised by the move. While Maughan understands the motivation of lawmakers, he knows it will be a while before any real change takes place.

“Property owners want to earn their revenue from the short-term rental market, and not the long-term rentals, because the eviction laws favor the tenants. This is causing a real lack of available properties for families and students who can’t afford to buy, and need to rent,” said Maughan. “This is about local governments being able to act on their own, to be able to enforce certain laws that can reduce short-term rentals, and increase long-term rentals.” 

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Tags: france, short-term rentals, taxes

Photo credit: The UK's new travel ban is hurting ski resorts like this one in Val d'Isère in France. Source: Tania and Artur/Flickr Tania & Artur / Flickr

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