This is another victory for the City of Paris against online accommodation reservation platforms. The company Booking.com was sentenced, Monday, October 18, to a fine of 1.234 million euros for non-compliance with the tourism code.
The Paris court ruled that Booking.com, a Dutch company, had “Unknown” certain provisions of the Tourism Code by not transmitting certain information to the City of Paris, in particular the number of days during which furnished tourist accommodation was rented.
The City of Paris, which requested a fine greater than 150 million euros, had taken Booking before the civil justice in January 2021, considering that it had not received the requested information. ” within the time allowed “.
“Booking.com BV demonstrates that, in a compliance process, it has transmitted the requested information”, specifies the decision of the court, which considers, however, that the company has “Delayed” to communicate the data requested by the City of Paris. “Thus, contrary to the request presented by the City of Paris which seeks a dissuasive sanction, the fine imposed must be set at a reduced amount”, explains the decision. The entire civil fine will be paid to the City of Paris, “In application of the tourism code”.
“We are disappointed with the decision (…) relating to data sharing between Booking.com and the City of Paris ”, commented the Dutch company, which says it works “In close collaboration with the City of Paris since then to ensure the quality and efficiency of the data we share and to ensure that we fully comply with all of our legal obligations in France. “
“In this specific case, the data retroactively required by law did not allow Booking.com to have the time necessary to properly meet the City of Paris’ requirements relating to the quality of shared files”, a souligné Booking. “Since then, we have strived to continuously improve the quality of the data transmitted, to the satisfaction of the City of Paris. “
Showdown of the City of Paris against the platforms
Faced with a housing shortage, the City of Paris wants to better regulate platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor or Abritel / HomeAway. In February, it had won a legal victory, the Court of Cassation judging its regulations to comply with European law, allowing it to prosecute hundreds of unscrupulous donors. With this decision, an apartment can no longer be legally rented for more than 120 days a year on a platform like Airbnb without it having been the subject of a request for a change of use, which is very restrictive and rather dissuasive. .
The Court thus validated the very restrictive mechanism known as “compensation” which goes hand in hand: an authorization is issued to the owner wishing to reserve the use of a second home for short-term tourist rental only if he buys a equivalent area – or even double in some areas – to transform it into a dwelling, in order to compensate for the “Loss of housing”.