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Airbnb: Do You Have to Be An Owner to Rent?

A tenant wishing to rent in Airbnb was recently sentenced to a fine of 5000 €, because this process had been applied without the agreement of his owner. However, this does not mean that practicing it is illegal, especially since it remains increasingly widespread on this seasonal rental platform.


But to avoid being in default vis-à-vis the legislation, it is imperative to respect certain rules before being an Airbnb tenant.


Airbnb logo on a cellphone with a hand holding a house key
UpperKey explains how you can rent on Airbnb if you are not the owner of the proprety.

Being a tenant and renting on Airbnb: yes, but under certain conditions

Based on French law, it is perfectly possible to be a tenant and rent Airbnb, in other words to sublet Airbnb. But before you start, it is important to make an official request by registered letter or by bailiff to the owner of the accommodation.


In the letter you send to your landlord, it is imperative to detail the rent you are claiming as well as the duration of the sublease. Once your request has been made, it is imperative to wait for their written authorization and this document will be sent to your sub-tenant.

An oral agreement is not enough, because in the event of a dispute you have no physical proof. This is why it is imperative that exchanges take place only through the official channel in writing.


When your landlord grants your request, they will not be able to act in the Airbnb business sublease you have set up. In other words, he cannot influence the lease or evict the sub-tenant in the event of a problem.


Indeed, the Airbnb tenant only concerns you and the sub-tenant.


Note that the landlord is in his right to proceed with the termination of your lease if on your side you have not made the declaration of activity related to a short-term rental.

It should also be noted that there is an exception concerning furnished accommodation. When the lease was made before the date of March 27, 2014, you do not need to ask your landlord to sublet in Airbnb.


What are the financial restrictions that must be respected?

Doing Airbnb as a tenant is now clearer in your mind. However, the legislation once again enters into force and under no circumstances can you enrich yourself on this sublease. The financial benefits you generate must not exceed your own monthly rent that you pay to your landlord.


Let's take a concrete example, if you ever pay a monthly rent of €800, then it is impossible to generate more than €800 in gross income.


An Airbnb sublet must comply with these regulations on French territory. If, on the other hand, the accommodation is located outside France, you will then have to comply with the legislation in force in the country concerned.


If you are not the owner of a property and rent it on AIrbnb, you may face issues with the landlord.

What regulations apply to rent an apartment on Airbnb when you are a tenant?

Tenant and Airbnb are not two incompatible notions. Once the prior authorization has been obtained, be aware that the regulations in force on housing remain scrupulously similar for the sub-tenant and the owner.


Consequently, the long -term rental cannot exceed 120 days per year when it comes to the principal residence of the tenant. As such, a principal residence is then defined when you occupy it at least eight months per year.


To fight against fraud and compliance with this rule, the Airbnb platform has implemented an automatic limit since January 1 , 2019.


This involves counting the number of overnight stays accumulated during a year. However, this limit only concerns 18 agglomerations in France, such as Lyon, Nice, Versailles, Bordeaux, Paris, Nîmes, Aix-en-Provence or Lille.


In addition, even if the Airbnb sublet tenant is therefore not the owner, this does not mean that the ALUR law of 2014 does not come into force.


Therefore, it is imperative that the property in question has the following elements, which remain mandatory under French law:

  • Bedding consisting of a blanket or duvet.

  • The installation of a specific device at the level of the windows such as blinds, shutters or curtains in order to allow a total or partial concealment at the level of the bedrooms.

  • A microwave or a traditional oven.

  • To cook, the presence of a hob is necessary.

  • A refrigerator with a freezer.

  • For taking meals, all the necessary dishes.

  • Let's not forget kitchen utensils, seats, a table and storage furniture.

  • Light fixtures should also be in place and provide good lighting.

  • Finally, the provision of housekeeping equipment depending on the configuration of the accommodation.

Once these elements have been respected, Airbnb travelers will be able to benefit from the subletting by paying of course the tourist tax provided for this purpose. On the lessor's side, whether he is the owner or tenant of the accommodation, it is imperative to contact the town hall in order to obtain a registration number. This is a unique identification code enabling Airbnb subletting. In the event of a breach of this obligation, a penalty of €50,000 may apply.


Do you have to be an owner to rent a student residence or a condominium on Airbnb?

If you wish to make a sublet in a co-ownership, you must familiarize yourself with the regulations in force. Indeed, it happens in certain cases that restrictions apply to furnished tourist accommodation, that is to say to the Airbnb rental regime.


If, on the other hand, you live in a student residence, it is impossible to use a platform like Airbnb, because French legislation prohibits the subletting of a room.


Is there any specific insurance in case of a problem in an Airbnb sublet?

As a host, it is possible to have a rental contract signed for the people staying in the property in question. However, this precision must be directly highlighted in your ad.


For the application of guarantees, the mere presence of a home insurance contract will be sufficient. Moreover, Airbnb also offers hosts a specific guarantee in the event of a problem.

Nevertheless, it remains recommended for use to inform your insurance company if you plan to make a sublease.


In the event of damage to your home or in the event of theft, financial compensation may be requested from the Airbnb platform. Initially, an amicable agreement will try to be found with the participation of the platform.


Nevertheless, it is imperative to report the anomaly within 14 days after the departure of the sub-tenant. Where possible, provide a video or photo of the incident with an accurate description of the problem.


Is it possible to sublet Airbnb social housing?

Once again, this is a special situation and even if many people have tried to sublet social housing, be aware that this practice is prohibited. Moreover, several trials have taken place, whether in France or abroad with often very heavy penalties.


It should therefore be remembered that seasonal subletting is strictly prohibited for social housing. Even if it only concerns a few nights each year, you risk having your lease terminated and being fined up to €5,000 in court.


Each year, dozens of cases are tried in court, systematically resulting in the conviction of the social housing tenant.


Parisian street with Hausmannian buildings ad cars and motorcycles parked on the street
Entrusting your property to UpperKey can help eliminate your doubts about listing on Airbnb

Why trust UpperKey for subletting on Airbnb?

Subletting involves respecting many rules, both vis-à-vis your landlord, but also in relation to the Airbnb platform. To avoid finding yourself in default of the legislation, do not hesitate to trust our UpperKey service to rent your apartment in Paris .


In this way, you will benefit from a tailor-made concierge service with a dedicated team who will make sure to support you with the administrative procedures, but also to enhance your accommodation to have a better occupancy rate. Of course, our UpperKey concierge will scrupulously respect the legislation in force.



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