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Airbnb Published Illegal Adverts, Paris To Fine It $14 Million

Airbnb Published Illegal Adverts, Paris To Fine It $14 Million
The United States based home and hotel renting platform company Airbnb would potentially face a fine of more than €12.5 million or US$14 million to the City of Paris. According to an interview given to a French newspaper on Sunday by the mayor of Paris, the US firm has violated local norms of renting and have been charged of illegally publishing more than 1000 rental advertisements.      
The French law on renting out homes in Paris for the short term allows owners of home there to only rent out their properties for 120 days in a single calendar year on short-term rental platforms. All of such advertisements on platforms also have to mandatorily carry a registration number to that authorities are able to follow the advertisers and home owners and thereby make sure that the owners do not rent out their properties for longer periods than allowed under the law.
This new law was passed by France in 2018 which pins the blame of violation of the law by home owners on online platforms like Airbnb where in such websites would be punishable by fines of up of €12,500 for every posting that is found to be illegal posting. This is the new provision that would be used by the Paris administration against Airbnb to take the company to court, said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo during the interview to the newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
"The goal is to send a shot across the bows to get it over with unauthorized rentals that spoil some Parisian neighborhoods," Hidalgo said in the interview.
In the recent past, a number of cities across the world that are tourist destinations have raised objections to the manner in which Aitbnb and other such platforms create an unfair model for competition and pose a serious challenge for local hotels. They also claim that such platforms also are turning some neighborhoods into sterile, tourist-only areas thereby causing discomfort to the local residents.
Airbnb had identified and tried to ensure that enough measures are taken so that users of its website in Paris are able to use the website according to the laws of the European Union, said a spokeswoman for Airbnb. She added that the rules in Paris were "inefficient, disproportionate and in contravention of European rules."
Outside of the United States, the largest market for Airbnb is France and Paris is the single largest market for the company because it is amongst the most visited city in the world and France. The city has about 65000 homes and home owners listed with the US firm for rentals.
The company, founded in 2008 in San Francisco, is based on the principle of matching of requirements of people wanting to rent out all or a part of their property or homes for a short period of time to travellers, tourists and guests and those seeking various types of accommodation while on visits and travels through its online platform.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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