Airbnb is trying out a new business arrangement in Paris to bypass stringent French renting regulations. The company is now partnering with international real estate company Century 21 to effectively cut a deal at the signing of a new lease stating that a Parisian renter may sublet their apartment on Airbnb, so long as the landlord and Century 21 get a cut of 23 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
“The goal is to make it easier to sublet so hosts can welcome guests up to 120 days per year on Airbnb. A win-win deal as tenants, landlords and the agency all share the income when a booking is made on Airbnb,” reads a joint press published today on Airbnb’s website. “With the Airbnb-friendly lease, subletting will be much better supervised. Moreover, this deal does not dry up the supply of housing in tense areas but encourages subletting of occupied homes.”
Airbnb’s troubles in Paris goes back to last year, when Paris authorities threatened to sue the company for letting users list apartments on the site without the permission of landlords and without appropriately registering the apartment with the city. This was after Paris instituted a 120-day annual limit on the renting of apartments back in November 2017. Paris followed through in April of this year, filing a lawsuit against Airbnb over the tens of thousands of unregistered listings on the site, a majority of which were sublets.
Now, to preserve its business in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, Airbnb is testing out this Century 21 deal to see if it can make headway with sublets. “In Paris, more than 60 percent of households are rented, and housing is their main expense. With this new subletting regime, they will be able to increase their purchasing power and build their lives in Paris,” argues Airbnb in its press release. “This lease will also allow more mobility for students and young workers. When they travel, they may receive an additional source of income.” Airbnb says it may expand the arrangement to other Century 21 branches, of which there are more than 850 throughout France, if it’s deemed successful.