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Change of use for furnished rentals

We take a look at the notion of change of use in the context of furnished rentals.

We are not lawyers and therefore this summary does not constitute a legal opinion.
Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer or a legal adviser in case of doubt.


1. WHAT IS THE CHANGE OF USE IN GENERAL ?

It is mandatory to obtain a prior administrative authorization to change from a residential use to any other use, commercial or professional. This authorization is issued by the mayor of the municipality in which the property is located.
Conversely, no authorization is required if the change of use concerns the transformation of commercial properties (store, office, etc.) into residential properties.
The regulation of the change of use, intended to protect housing, only concerns residential premises transformed for another use, in particular if it is a rental that becomes an economic activity (offices, trade, furnished tourist rental, etc.).


2. CITIES CONCERNED BY THE CHANGE OF USE

The authorization of change of use, governed by the code of construction and housing, is mandatory only :
  • in municipalities with more than 200,000 inhabitants ;
  • and in the departments of Hauts-de-Seine (92), Seine-Saint-Denis (93) and Val-de-Marne (94), except in urban free zones (ZFU).


3. WHAT CONSTITUTES A CHANGE OF USE FOR FURNISHED ACCOMMODATION

A decision of the Court of Cassation dated 18/02/21 specifies what constitutes a change of use for a furnished accommodation.

Here is the extract of the decree which interests us for the general case:
"Apart from the cases of a lease granted to a student for a period of at least nine months, the conclusion, since the entry into force of the law of November 23, 2018, of a mobility lease for a period of one to ten months and the lease of the premises for residential use constituting the principal residence of the lessor for a maximum period of four months, the fact of renting, more than once in the course of the same year, renting furnished premises for a period of less than one year, such as a rental by the night, week or month, to a passing clientele who do not take up residence there as their principal residence within the meaning of article 2 of the law of July 6, 1989, constitutes a change of use of premises intended for habitation and, consequently, is subject to prior authorization. "

In summary of this decree, it is specified that, for the particular case treated:
"Constitutes a change of use of a premise intended for habitation, within the meaning of Article L. 631-7, paragraph 6, of the Construction and Housing Code, the fact, for the owner of a furnished premise for habitation, to rent it twice in less than a year, for respective durations of four and six months, less than one year or nine months."


4. SUMMARY
In the case of a furnished rental of a property, the lessor must proceed with the change of use of the rented property if :
  • this one is rented more than once a year - and thus for durations of less than one year;
  • to a passing clientele that does not establish its main residence - thus excluding classic furnished leases of one year tacitly renewable;
  • except in the case of a mobility lease ("bail mobilité) lasting from 1 to 10 months, a student lease lasting 9 months or the rental of the owner's main residence for a maximum of four months.

Important
In some cities, such as Paris, the change of use is accompanied by financial compensation. Penalties in case of infringement are heavy: up to 50 000€ fine and a fine of 1000€ per day and per m2.

Cases that do not require a change of use:
  • A lease of more than one year

  • A mobility lease with a duration of 1 to 10 months

  • Several rentals in a mobility lease during the year
    Ex : 2 rentals in mobility lease (2 different tenants), one of 2 months and the other of 8 months in the same year

  • Several rentals in the year in a classic ALUR furnished lease (main residence of the tenant)
    Ex : 2 rentals, one of 4 months (notice of the 1st tenant at the 3rd month) and the other of 7 months in the same year (notice of the tenant at the 6th month)

  • A student lease of 9 months

  • Rental of less than 4 months of the principal residence of the lessor

  • Rental of a furnished commercial property several times a year

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
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