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Money Matters and Legal / In Law

Rent caps are here: Paris prefecture releases city-wide reference tables

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The long awaited details of the soon to be implemented Parisian rent control law have now been made public. The law and its effects, discussed in an our article last month, have been viewed as controversial by investors, landlords and real estate professionals.

In the works for some time, the Paris Prefecture has released city-wide reference tables for the ALUR rent caps law. The newly revealed rent calculations answer some questions on how the law will play out, but leave other concerns, like the role of luxury apartments, historical considerations and additional amenities, unclear.

Calculating the average, maximum and minimum rental price has been made extremely simple with an interactive map provided on the Ile de France site. Renters can type in a street name, building construction date, apartment size and location and quickly determine the rent that should be applied.

Using the map, it was possible to discover in seconds that a furnished studio apartment in the 11th arrondissement, for example, constructed after 1990 now has an established standard rental price of 25.3 euros per meter squared, a rent cap of 30.4 euros/m2 and a minimum of 17.7. As a comparison, a studio apartment in the same neighborhood but constructed prior to 1946 has a higher standard rent than the newer buildings at 31.3 euros/m2. Using the same search conditions for a prewar building in the same neighborhood, but modifying the size to a larger 2 bedroom apartment reveals a lower standard rent per meter squared than a studio at 24 euros/m2.

While it seems fairly simple to calculate a standard price, many factors appear to be left out of the search criteria. Amenities like an elevator and interior renovations are not included in the search, and it is unclear if a modern building with better amenities versus a historic apartment would have a higher or lower rental price. More readily available details on how the numbers are calculated could be useful for tenants and landlords as the new law is set in motion.

If, using the online calculator, a tenant finds that the rent of his or her apartment has been set too high, he or she can contact the local Conciliation Commission (CDC) to file a complaint and receive a review of the circumstances. The complaint should be filed within three years of signing the lease. If the review rules in favor of the tenant, the landlord will have to reimburse the excess amount to the tenant or prove that the apartment offers a unique comfort or service compared to apartments of similar size in the same neighborhood. More details and legal regulations can be accessed on the Regional and Interdepartmental Board of Housing and Accommodations’ (DRIHL) website.

The ensuing application of the law has been met by mixed reactions between the Paris municipal government and real estate professionals. Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has heralded the news as a success and emphasized the law’s application as a way to prevent abusive practices toward renters. Real estate professionals, however, have raised concerns on the potential negative effects on the Parisian housing market and unintended consequences for renters. Whether this new law will provide protection for tenants against inflated rents, or cause landlords to become more reticent to lease their properties, the initial effects of the rent caps will soon be observable in the upcoming months.

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