The Montpellier city council voted unanimously on Monday a series of measures to regulate the rental of furnished apartments, in particular on Airbnb.
An owner will now have to register to put a furnished apartment up for rent: the city will be able to verify that he does not rent it for more than 120 days a year.
The metropolis of Montpellier has also approved an increase in the tourist tax for furnished tourist accommodation from 3 to 5%, the same as for hoteliers.
In Montpellier (Hérault), as elsewhere, furnished tourist accommodation is all the rage. On Airbnb alone, more than 5,000 homes are available for rent. Almost as many as the number of rooms offered by local hotels (4,566). In 2019, rentals soared, with a jump of + 37%, in the metropolis, or more than a million overnight stays per year. So like others before it, the city of Montpellier, which points to "unfair competition" towards hotels, attacks these platforms.
The city council voted unanimously on Monday a series of measures to regulate the rental of furnished apartments to tourists.
In order to “support our hoteliers, limit neighborhood conflicts, fight against real estate speculators and reduce pressure on the rental market in Montpellier”, points out the mayor, Michaël Delafosse (PS), who estimates that “at least 400” the number housing which could have benefited families, but which are only destined to be rented out on specialized platforms.
A "compensation" in the event of exceeding the limits
All accommodation must, from September (if the municipal council, scheduled for that month, approves the device) be registered in advance with the city services. They will thus be able to verify that an owner does not rent out his main accommodation for more than 120 days a year. As for secondary housing, rentals are limited to "one per fiscal household", and "for a period limited to six years".
“Beyond that, the change in the use of housing for a strictly commercial activity of furnished tourist accommodation must be compensated for: for housing removed from the housing stock for long-term rental, new housing must be created by the project leader ”, indicates the city of Montpellier.
"In order not to undress the body of housing available to the population", points out Maryse Faye (PS), elected to sustainable town planning, who recalls that there are "25,000 requests for social housing each year in Montpellier", who find it difficult to be honored.
The tourist tax revised upwards
The metropolis also approved, on June 7, an increase in the tourist tax for furnished tourist accommodation from 3 to 5%, the same as for hoteliers. This measure questions Dominique Debuire, president of the National Union for the promotion of vacation rental (UNPLV) and vice-president of Clévacances. “Do we consider that when we increase the tourist tax for tourist furnished rentals, this is going in the desired direction? The tourist tax, it is the tourist who pays it, it will increase the cost for the traveler ”, recalls this professional, requested by
As for the limit of 120 days per year, "the UNPLV was involved, by committing to block the announcements of the owners, in the case of a principal residence, which exceed" the maximum authorized by the law, entrusts Dominique Debuire.
"We do not deny the fact that in some cities, there are tensions related to housing, which require measures," he continues.
But it must be done on the basis of a precise and objective observation.
"The offer must be multiple"
And the president of the UNPLV does not quite agree when he hears that Airbnb and other platforms exert "unfair competition" on hoteliers.
"There are lots of municipalities in France, with a tourist vocation, which, without the rental of tourist accommodation, could not accommodate as many tourists," he continues.
Some tourists, on the other hand, will take a furnished rental, and may not be able to afford a full-board hotel-restaurant.
The offer must be multiple.
Our file on Airbnb
Jacques Mestre, president of the Union des trades et des industries de l'hôtellerie (Umih) of Hérault, is, for his part, fully satisfied with the measures put in place by the city to regulate these furnished rentals.
"This is what we have been asking for two or three years," he says.
People need to be registered.
And for offenders, the fines will be steep, reminds the city of Montpellier: up to 50,000 euros for non-compliance with the change of use procedure, and up to one year of imprisonment and 80,000 euros fine for false declarations and fraudulent maneuvers.
The measures voted on Monday by the city council will however be subject to the approval of the metropolitan council on July 28.
Airbnb: The site is looking for 12 people ready to live a year in the four corners of the world, for free
Var: The department is placed as the first destination on Airbnb and dethrones Paris for this summer