One Year On, One in Two Landlords Flout Paris Rent Caps
More than a year on from the rent caps introduced last year, a study has shown that half of online rental listings do not adhere to the new legislation. The numbers reveal nonconformity by both landlords renting directly and estate agents posting on their behalf.
The CLCV, a consumer rights association, analysed 800 listings across eight of the most popular lettings sites in Paris. It found that 49% of apartments listed directly by a landlord did not conform to the rent caps. Perhaps more surprisingly, 25% of those posted by lettings agents were also out of line. The overall split between legal and illegal listings is 62% to 38%.
There was strong resistance to the imposition of rent caps in the summer of 2015. Nonetheless, by December – four months after its enactment – the ALUR legislation had reduced the number of overpriced rentals, and led to a fall in investment in residential property.
Still, the numbers are an improvement. In March of this year, FYLTYR reported on a similar study by CLCV, which found that 42% of lettings were unlawfully above the rent cap levels. More recent findings from August 2015 confirmed these numbers at 53% and 30% among landlords and estate agents respectively.
The overall rates of conformity from one website to the next are substantial:
- nexity.fr: 86%
- foncia.com: 86%
- orpi.com 81%
- seloger.com: 72%
- century21.fr: 71%
- fnaim.fr: 55%
- leboncoin.fr: 52%
- pap.fr: 50%
The law is difficult for the city to enforce, as it is the tenant’s responsibility to report the landlord. Students and foreign workers are often unaware of the rent caps, and thus unwittingly overpay – especially to live in the most prestigious neighborhoods of Paris. Capital.fr has produced a table of which arrondissements were the worst offenders. The arrondissement with the lowest rate of conformity is the 1st, at 38%, while 82% of properties in the 8th arrondissement adhere to the law.
At a congress held by the Union of Property Professionals (UNIS) in Lyon, one participant proposed the government make it illegal to post a rental listing without going through an agent. Given their greater tendency to conform to the law, the renters would probably benefit from such a law. On the other hand, to restrict the rental prices but require that tenants pay an agent’s fee for any rental would seem to add expense for little reason. Ultimately, the city may need to find more effective ways to enforce the caps, such as an information campaign targeted at foreign and student renters.
image © iha.co.in