The City of Paris is preparing to control rents instead of the State

In Paris, the very sensitive border between the powers of the City and those of the State is about to shift. Judging that the national public authorities do not fight with the necessary firmness against landlords who do not respect rent controls, the City of Paris is preparing to recover this extremely political mission. A first in France.

A formal request for transfer of skills is on Anne Hidalgo’s desk, ready to go. All that is missing is the green light from the Paris Council, to which the project will be formally submitted at its next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, March 22. The support of elected officials is hardly in doubt, the majority showing themselves united on the subject. Then it will be up to the State to authorize or not the requested change. At City Hall, elected officials anticipate a favorable response. “The logic is that it should be done”, insofar as the government has already sent positive signals, assures Ian Brossat, the communist housing assistant.

In Paris, the city where rents are by far the highest, even if they have fallen slightly with the pandemic, the red-pink-green coalition that holds the Town Hall has long sought to calm prices, to prevent popular categories find themselves definitively driven out of the capital. A first framework measure was put in place from 2015 to 2017. “It had made it possible to stabilize rents, which had risen continuously by 50% during the previous decade”, points out the Town Hall. As the system was canceled by the administrative court in November 2017, a new rent control, this time authorized by law, was introduced in July 2019.

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“This framework is useful, estimates Mr. Brossat. But it would be much more so if it were really respected, and if offenders were punished. » However, that is not the case. According to one investigation by the Abbé Pierre Foundation, 35% of ads published between August 2020 and August 2021 exceed the limits authorized by law, with an average difference of 196 euros per month. Small surfaces are particularly concerned: 62% of studios of less than 20 square meters are rented too expensively, indicates the Observatory of rents in the Paris conurbation. “In other words, there is room for improvement in compliance with the law and the opportunity for thousands of households to save around 2,000 euros per year”, underlined the Abbé Pierre Foundation, in November 2021, during the presentation of its study.

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