Paris tightens the screw to better manage its rents
Since the beginning of the year, the City of Paris has set up a digital platform allowing tenants to denounce rents deemed abusive.
The accommodation offered for rent in Paris must comply with the rent control mechanism.
“Nobody likes to be laughed at, especially when it's knowingly”, says Adam, met at a forum on housing organized the end last week in Paris.
This tenant thinks she can contest the price of her rent, which she considers excessive. At a kiosk, employees of the City of Paris distribute documentation about a mechanism that has existed for several years now: rent control.
This policy, which aims to avoid abusive rents, sets a rate that the owner cannot exceed. This threshold is equal to 20% above the median rental price of the neighborhood in which the unit is located.
If exceeded, an offending owner can be fined up to 5,000 euros, the equivalent of approximately CA$7,300. Owners can, however, justify a price exceeding the permitted threshold if their property offers exceptional characteristics that justify the price charged.
The City of Paris now has powers to enforce rent controls.
Although the policy has been in place since 2019, many tenants are still not aware of the mechanism.
No, we did not know, are surprised two women met just in side of the City of Paris kiosk.
In 2022, the average price for a one-room apartment of 25 square meters was 850 euros per month, the equivalent of 1250 CA$.
Source : Franceinfo
The Abbé Pierre Foundation, which focuses in particular on issues related to housing, has found that around 30% of apartments in the capital exceed the threshold imposed by the rent control policy. The finding is particularly striking for small areas, i.e. dwellings of less than 20 square meters.
According to the organization's director of research, Manuel Domergue, this situation is partly explained by the lack of knowledge of the supervision mechanism on the part of some tenants, but also by the tensions that exist in the housing market. Parisian accommodation.
Manuel Domergue, of the Abbé Pierre Foundation, is interested in housing issues.
The tenant is already very happy to have found a rent and he pays what is asked of him, even if he may be aware that it is not entirely legal, he explains.
Manuel Domergue also points out that the police headquarters, responsible for enforcing sanctions in recent years, has imposed very few fines on the recent years. Fines which are not very important and which are very rare, a few dozen, he specifies.
“It's like when there are speed limits on the road. If there is no speed camera, most people don't necessarily obey speed limits. So we need reasonable fines, but which are publicized and known. »
— Manuel Domergue, Director of Research at the Abbé Pierre Foundation
Since January 1, the power to enforce rent control has changed hands . The responsibility now lies with the municipal administration.
It's a small revolution, rejoiced at the end of last year the elected official responsible for housing at the City of Paris, Ian Brossat.
Rental buildings, in Paris.
To encourage tenants to denounce a rent exceeding the permitted threshold, the municipal authorities have set up a platform which makes it possible to determine whether the price charged is compliant and, if it is exceeded, to file a complaint. In one month, more than 140 reports were made.
An initiative that is part of a broader policy of the municipal administration aimed at making rents more affordable in the capital.
“What today prohibits a nurse, a childminder, a policeman from living in Paris? What prevents them from having access to Parisian accommodation? These are the rents and this is the price of private housing. »
— Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris, responsible for housing
The rent controls defended by the City have come up against opposition for years from the National Union of Property Owners (UNPI).
In the opinion of the administrator of the UNPI, Frédéric Pelissolo, this measure looks more like an administrative fixing of prices rather than a framework.
Frédéric Pelissolo believes that measures such as rent controls may put some landlords off the idea of renting certain properties.
This owner of several properties in the Paris region would like to point out that in his opinion it is normal for apartment prices to be higher in the territory of the City of Paris, whose area is much smaller than that of cities such as London. or Berlin.
Frédéric Pelissolo adds that measures such as rent controls could put some landlords off venturing into the real estate market, thus contributing to pressure on supply of slots.
“There is only a tenant by the will of an owner who decides to rent out their property and, if they are dissuaded from renting it out, there will be tensions. Besides, these tensions are beginning to appear. »
— Frédéric Pelissolo, administrator of the UNPI
The association assures that it will continue its efforts to suspend the policy. Last year, it obtained a partial suspension of rent controls for certain leases due to a lack of documentation. But the mechanism itself has not been called into question, even though it has received the approval of the Council of State, the highest administrative body in France.
In addition to Paris, rent controls are in effect in several other cities in the country, such as Lille and Lyon.