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What are the regulations for short-term rentals in France?

In deciding to provide a furnished rental to a tourist clientele, characterized by rentals by the day, week or month, who do not wish to establish their residence within the lodging, it is important that you inform yourself about the applicable regulations, at both the national level and the level of your specific municipality.

This is a preliminary overview of the regulations in force, but we recommend that you make sure that it is accurate and up to date by consulting directly with municipal services, or seeking the opinion of all relevant legal professionals. 
MorningCroissant is an intermediary platform that does not provide legal advice of any kind. We have provided these links for your reference, and we are not responsible for their content.
It is also important to comply with the other regulations that you are obligated to respect, such as your lease or condominium regulations. 

In order to become familiar with the regulations applicable to the furnished seasonal rental, it is first necessary to draw a distinction between the different categories of housing.

CATEGORIES OF LODGING

Under the definitions established by law, the lodging that you make available for rent, in whole or in part, constitutes either your primary residence or your secondary residence. Primary residences shall include dwellings occupied for a minimum of 8 months per year, except due to professional obligations, health reasons, or "force majeure". Conversely, a secondary residence is occupied for less than 4 months per year (i.e. pied-à-terre).

A specific categorization can be made within this distinction, with specific procedures to be carried out.

Furnished lodgings for Tourism

The rental of a furnished lodging for tourism indicates the rental of a furnished residential room on repeated occasions and for short periods to a clientele consisting of tourists. Lodgings included within the category of furnished lodging for tourism include furnished houses, mansions, apartments or studios, for the exclusive use of the renter, offered for rent to a tourist clientele, whose stays are characterized by a rental by the day, week or month, and who do not establish their place of residence within the lodging. To rent a furnished lodgin for tourism, you must respect a number of procedures, which you can find here.
Guest rooms 

Guest rooms are defined as furnished rooms within the residence of the inhabitant intended to accommodate tourists in exchange for compensation, for one or more nights, accompanied by benefits (that include providing, at a minimum, bed linens and breakfast). Therefore, the guest room differs from a furnished lodging for tourism in the sense that the owner must necessarily reside on the premises - which is not always the case for owners of a furnished lodging for tourism - and additionally, unlike a furnished lodging for tourism, a guest house cannot be classified according to the official star system. The operator of a guest house may or may not conduct such operation as his or her professional activity.

DECLARATION TO THE MUNICIPALITY

If you rent your main residence (see definition above or in this section) in its entirety for a period of less than 120 days per year, you do not have to declare your lodging to your municipal government. 
Instead,  you may, as an example, rent your entire lodging for 1 to 2 months during the holidays, or several weekends per year. The rental of a private room within a larger housing is not affected by these restrictions.

If it is not your main residence, you must declare the lodging to your municipal government using this form.

CHANGES OF USE IN CERTAIN CITIES

In some cities, the rental of your secondary residence (i.e. pied-à-terre) requires the prior authorization or temporary authorization of the municipal government to modify the use of your accommodation within the premises intended for the tourist rental. It may concern:
- Municipalities of more than 200,000 inhabitants,
- The communes of the inner-ring suburbs of Paris (the departments of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne), 
- Municipalities of more than 50,000 inhabitants forming part of the so-called stretched areas (with a high imbalance between supply and demand for housing).
As mentioned above, this authorization for a change of use does not concern you if your property constitutes your primary residence and if you rent it for short periods of time, not exceeding 4 months per year.

As of this date, the change of use is in effect in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, and Strasbourg.

Paris 
in Paris, the authorization for a change of use must also be accompanied by a "compensation". This regulation requires the purchase of a commercial premises, of an equivalent surface area, that you will be required to transform into a residential space.
For more information, visit the website of the Municipality of Paris, or contact the Housing Department at the following address: dlh-bplh@paris.fr

Strasbourg
For more information, check the documents made available by the municipality or contact the Eurométropole de Strasbourg at the following address: src_mtt@strasbourg.eu.

Lyon
For more information, check the documents made available by the municipality or contact the Métropole de Lyon at the following address: urbanisme-autorisations@mairie-lyon.fr.

Marseille
For more information, check the documents made available by the municipality or contact the Town hall at the following address: webmestre@mairie-marseille.fr.

Nice
For more information, check the documents made available by the municipality or contact the Métropole de Nice by calling 00 33 (0) 4 97 13 26 86.
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