In Saint-Malo, the battle rages on to regulate “real estate speculation” of Airbnb rentals

Their city is arguably one of the city that has taken the most radical decision in France. But their fight does not end there. This Saturday, several groups will speak in front of the French headquarters of the Airbnb company in Paris. An idea carried by the collective ” Saint-Malo, I live there, I stay there ”but which will bring together associations from several tourist spots in the country: the island of Groix and Douarnenez for Brittany, but also the Basque Country and obviously Paris, one of the first concerned.

For years, these residents have been trying to regulate tourist rentals offered by platforms such as Airbnb or HomeAway. Their main argument? “Real estate speculation”. The equation is simple. By renting out their apartment by the week in the summer for the same price as a month’s rent from a long-term occupant, owners are driving out residents year-round and driving up prices. All the more so when some have turned it into a business, creating real estate companies (SCI) and increasing the purchase of housing.

“This activity has become a real business”

Often criticized by municipalities, these short-term rentals are increasingly supervised. In Marseille, the city has limited two the number of second homes of an owner. “This activity has become a real business, piloted by a small number of wealthy people,” denounced Patrick Amico, deputy mayor of Marseille. In May, Saint-Malo did much stronger. First, by imposing a quota not to be exceeded per district: 12.5% ​​for the intramural but no more than 1% in other sectors of the city. It has also limited to a single request per owner, thereby excluding legal entities such as SCIs. Note that a resident who occupies his home for at least eight months of the year can do with it what he wants and without any necessary authorization.

I have to say that the situation has clearly deteriorated for the inhabitants and traders of the intramural in recent years, especially since
delivery of the LGV in 2017, which put Saint-Malo a little more than two from Paris by train. “I have the impression of living in a hotel with comings and goings morning and evening”, recently testified a resident of the ramparts. This new regulation introduced by the municipality was applauded by the inhabitants. In front of the headquarters of the rental platform, the collectives intend to encourage this decision and denounce “overtourism”. In a press release, they evoke “nuisance and incivility” linked to passing tourists.

In the privateer city, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm. Starting with the owners of rental housing. The latter called on two lawyers to challenge the city’s decision to court. Believing that the municipality has exceeded its powers, acting with abuse of power. The latter consider that the limit of one accommodation per person is against the law. The procedure should last at least a year.

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