If you’re planning on using Airbnb to rent out a room, an entire house or an apartment in France, then this article is for you!
First things first, you need to find out whether or not the place you intend to rent out is located in one of the municipalities in France that are listed as a "zone tendue", meaning the city or town is extremely strict regarding Airbnb rentals due to an inadequate supply of housing . Here's a list of said municipalities.
If it is located in a “Zone tendue”, or if there are more than 200 000 inhabitants in your commune, the best thing for you to do is to contact your local authorities in order to find out whether or not it's actually possible for you to list your property on Airbnb.
If the property isn’t in a "zone tendue" and there are less than 200 000 inhabitants , wonderful! Please continue reading to find out how you can legally rent out your room or property.
Now, do you own the property? If so, is it your primary residence or your second home? Or, are you renting the property? The rules and regulations that you will have to abide by vary depending on your answer(s), as you'll discover below:
If it’s your primary residence
(i.e. you live there for at least 8 months per year)
- You can rent out the entire property or just a private room for a maximum of 120 days (non-consecutively) per year without having to obtain a tourist license or register the rental as a business.
- If you want to rent it out for more than 120 days a year (more than 4 months) you have to register the property with your local town hall and convert the zoning from residential to commercial.
If it’s your second home
(i.e. you live there for a maximum of four months per year)
- Even if you want to rent out your second home for just 2 weeks, you must fill in the Cerfa form n°14004*02 and take it to your local "Mairie".
- You must get government approval. This is mandatory.
You are obliged to register your property before posting a short term rental advertisement.
You also need to be aware of the fact that each town or city has its own rules. Airbnb is for short term rentals only, so the rules help to compensate for the fact that while you're renting out your property on a short term basis, normal working people can't rent it on a long term lease. In some towns, you will have to pay a monetary compensation for each square meter of your short term rental. In others, you can't rent a property out if you don't put the same number of square meters on the long term rental market. For example, if you want to rent out a 30m² studio on Airbnb, you have to also have a 30m² studio for long term rental.
Many big French towns now have special police departments to fight against illegal short term rental. A new law, confirmed by the Parliament, but not yet by Senate, will fine illegal renters up to €50,000 and immediately evict the tenant.
All these laws and regulations were introduced to stop people renting out their property permanently through Airbnb and to make it easier for the authorities to track which properties are being rented out so they can collect taxes from the owners.
If you earn €23,000 or more per year, the rental needs to be registered as a business and you will have to pay social security contributions and tax. If you're just renting out your property when you are on vacation or away for the weekend and you earn €305 or less in a year, you should not have to pay any tax.
If you’re a tenant
- If you want to rent out a property that isn't yours, you must have a formal, written agreement from the landlord because if not, subletting is strictly forbidden in France. Here's a template that you can use to ask your landlord for permission to sublet his/her property.
- Even if the landlord does agree, the amount of money you earn from subletting cannot surpass the amount you are paying for rent (e.g: if you’re paying €700 per month in rent, you cannot earn more than €700 per month from subletting).
In all three cases, you must declare the income generated by the Airbnb rental to your local tax office at the end of the fiscal year.
On top of this, there is a "tourist tax" which is due per night and per adult. Click Here and enter the name of your commune or your postal code to find out how much to charge your guests.
The best advice we can give you in terms of renting through Airbnb is
- a) Know the rules of your town or city.
- b) Be honest about your situation and your rental activity.
- c) Be insured by Airbnb's Host Guarantee which provides protection for up to €800,000 in damage to the property.
- d) Make sure you fully understand your legal and tax responsibilities before agreeing to rent out a property through Airbnb.