Destruction, dirt and sex: Angry neighbors against Airbnb, the new battle in France

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Quick rentals of Airbnb apartments and houses excite tourists in France but they alienate homeowners and neighbors.

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In Paris, the mayor Anne Hidalgo proposes to regulate them, after entire neighborhoods have been reconfigured with the presence of temporary rental apartments, which change their spirit, de-angelize the buildings, devalue the apartments for sale and destroy the coexistence of the neighbors.

“It’s too much, I can’t take it anymore!” This is the most heard phrase among the neighbors who have an Airbnb next door.

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What about Airbnb?

What is going on? Airbnbs in France are rented out by young people partying unauthorized and leave the house or apartment devastated, tourists who place more people than authorized and also destroy the place, or the prostitutes, who turn it into its sexual basis.

When France hosts the Rugby World Cup in September and the Olympic Games next European summer, the subject is on everyone’s lips. AND the big concern of tourism authorities and the government.

With inflation soaring, a 70 percent increase in the cost of living and coping with paint jobs, skyrocketing building repairs and vacations, many families decide to rent their own apartment and go to their secondary residence or to the home of children or friends a get extra funds.

Tourists in Paris take a break outside the Louvre.  Photo: AP

Tourists in Paris take a break outside the Louvre. Photo: AP

Faced with the traumatic experience, they argue between the risk of renting it at attractive prices or preserving it from vandals.

Denise’s case

Denise is retired and has to pay €20,000 for structural work on its co-ownership, not far from Roland Garros and PSG. Chic, well furnished, your loft can reach the 1000 euros per night at the World Cup or the Olympics.

“But I doubt it. My neighbors frown on me if I rent on Airbnb why everyone knows what happens. At the same time, if it appears on Airbnb, the price of my apartment and that of my neighbors depreciates. it’s a dilemma“, Explain.

Denise’s apartment is rented for 200 euros a night when there are no exceptional opportunities. She investigates her tenants as much as possible and prefers single people. But nothing guarantees that they will not bring guests.

The return of the tourists

Tourists have returned to Paris with Post Covid strength. Chinese who have returned to travel after years of confinement, Americans, Nordics, Japanese have invaded the city this summer.

Tourists have returned to Paris with Post Covid strength.  Photo: AP

Tourists have returned to Paris with Post Covid strength. Photo: AP

The hotels The prices have increased at the rate of increasing fuel and food. TouristsWe prefer the apartment option save money in restaurants and spread expenses.

In summer, apartments are rented cheaper. Even if the price can quadruple on occasions such as Roland Garros, the World Cup or the Olympics.

10,500 euros per night at the Games

In St Germain de Pres, a 100m ward for the Olympics it can cost 8000 euros per night. In the Marais, a 30-metre loft that is now rented for 250 euros is marked for the Olympic Games at 10,500 euros per night. Exorbitant prices in the face of incredible short-term demand.

But behind the financial aspect, some remember the behind the scenes. “The offer is tempting. But since a relative’s apartment rented through Airbnb has been ruined, I’m not taking any chances,” underlines a mother.

The testimonies of bad experiences of this kind are legion. Beyond individual disappointments, sometimes with serious consequences, and specific times such as the Olympic Games, the increase in short-term rentals also worries city officials in each neighborhood and the residents of the areas in question.

Chinese, who have returned to travel after years of confinement, Americans, Nordics and Japanese have invaded Paris this summer.  Photo: AP

Chinese, who have returned to travel after years of confinement, Americans, Nordics and Japanese have invaded Paris this summer. Photo: AP

The areas are easily recognizable by their number key boxes, installed near the doors of buildings, which are collected by tourists. The owners mostly don’t come to receive them, which would be a way to know who they are.

Noise, prostitutes and filth

In Paris, Annecy (Haute Savoie) and Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine), in the Basque Country or elsewhere, the answer is the same. First consequences: noise, something that traumatizes the Frenchsuitcases on wheels on the pavement, comings and goings in buildings, repeated parties and discourtesy, especially towards the Dirt and waste management.

“There’s almost no recourse: you’re dealing with passersby who don’t give a damn, janitors who are there to clean in half an hour, and absent landlords you don’t know,” complains Brigitte Cottet, president of the neighborhood association Old Town Annecy.

foreign owners

Many of those who rent apartments are not residents of France but abroad. They do this to pay for annual expenses, which are increasingly high in France, and real estate taxes.

The owners of the studio located just above Marielle, occupying an apartment in a street leading to the castle of Annecy, they live in mexico. But there are many Brazilian, North American and British landlords who rent when they are not occupying their home in France. .

Sometimes the discomfort is much more disturbing. They are not tourists who want to see Paris, stroll on the Bateau Mouche, visit the latest exhibitions of Rames and Manet, but prostitutes.

Prostitutes in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris.  Photo: Reuters

Prostitutes in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. Photo: Reuters

They are looking for a well-appointed place where they can practice their trade and be able to leave the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes, where they work in vansilluminated by colored light. Airbnb is safer for them. He has access, together with his clients, to a bathroom and a kitchen and they are protected from the elements.

Chloe’s experience

Chloé, a thirty-year-old from Bayonne, discovered that the apartment next to hers housed families or friends who had come to discover the Basque Country, but also prostitutes.

“The same girls have come back several times. And, through the peephole in my door, several times a day I saw lonely men waiting at the break… We didn’t feel safe. We should be in a quiet residence and we find ourselves in the middle of such a network!”, she said.

After having warned the owner, the manager, the trustee and the police in vain, Chloé ended up turning to the Alda association – “change” in Basque – which supported her in her enterprise. For a month now, the administrative employee has noted with relief that the ballet of the occupiers had stopped… but for how long?

there are no closer

In some buildings, the neighbors have disappeared. These are mostly one-bedroom or one-bedroom apartments for rent to foreigners. no one knows anyone and social ties are dead.

The boom in Airbnb has left those looking to rent long-term with no choice. They can’t find an apartment to live in in the face of rising prices and the housing shortage in Paris.

“An apartment for short-term rent That’s one floor less for a family who wants to settle down”, sums up an expert in the sector.

In the Facebook group “Presqu’ile de Rhuys”several future residents of this little piece of Morbihan share their difficulties in finding permanent housing.

“It’s impossible to find a rental for the whole year, there’s only a seasonal rental,” says an anguished mother forced to settle down with her husband and son with their parents.

Mayor’s plans

The mayor of Paris wants Anne Hidalgo organize a referendum to define the good conditions of use of Airbnb. But in other cities like Barcelona, ​​Amsterdam and Los Angeles there are already mechanisms to do this to brake to this mastodon of online tourist rental.

There are already legal battles against Airbnb in France. Two landlords and the Paris mayor’s office went to court because they rented a room without permission from the mayor’s office. They took the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union to contest the 40,000 euro amendment requested by the mayor of Paris.

The next step is for municipalities to ask Airbnb a list of all houses and apartments for temporary rent.

it even formed a global movement Resist Airbnb fight against short-term rentals, by which they qualify “predatory attitude”.

This company, born in San Francisco, created a concept 5 years ago that revolutionized the professional travel industry, with 4 million guests. It has signed a partnership with the International Committee of the Olympic Games, while the platform adapts to the new post-Covid habits of tourists.

Paris, correspondent

Source: Clarin

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