The Grand Chamber of the European Court confirms the rule in France, which requires authorisation from local authorities to allow tourist rentals.
The European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of the law applied in France requiring prior authorisation from local councils to allow tourist rentals. The Court considers that the French legislation is in conformity with Union law since “combating the shortage of housing intended for long-term rental is an overriding reason in the general interest”.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) thus supports the monitoring of the tourist rental business in areas where there is a shortage of long-term rental housing. French law provides that, in communes with more than 200 000 inhabitants, and in those of three départements bordering Paris, the change of use of property for housing purposes must be subject to prior administrative authorisation.
This French code sets out the conditions for granting authorisations for a change of housing to tourist rent, based on compensation per neighbourhood with the clear objective of social diversity, and the need not to exacerbate housing shortages in these areas.
The ECJ is in favour of this intervention: “The legislation in question seeks to establish a mechanism for combating the shortage of housing intended for long-term rental, in order to respond to the deterioration of the conditions of access to housing and the increase in tensions on the housing markets, which is an overriding reason in the general interest.
The particular case which prompted the ECJ’s decision comes from the Paris Court of Cassation, which asked the ECJ to rule on the compatibility of the French rules with European Directive 2006/123 on services in the internal market.
Two owners of studios on the outskirts of Paris were offering these properties for tourist rental without prior authorisation from the local authorities. “They were rented out without prior authorisation from the local authorities, repeatedly and for short periods of time, to passing customers”, the judgment clarifies.
The Court of First Instance of Paris and then the Court of Appeal of Paris ruled in favour of the City of Paris to pay fines of EUR 15 000 and EUR 25 0000 respectively to the owners and the review of the properties as housing use.
SOURCE: LA VANGUARDIA