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Are furnished rentals making a comeback?

Some rental agencies have reported an upsurge in demand for furnished rentals among landlords in . Reasons include anti-Airbnb measures, the abolition of rent caps and the promise of a new flexible lease to be voted on this year. 

Figures show that Airbnb listings in fell towards the end of last year, the first time such a trend had been seen. Most observers cite the new ‘Decret Airbnb’ which has obligated hosts to obtain registration numbers from local authorities before renting out their home short-term, and an increased fine for flouting the 120-day limit, of €50,000.

According to Maud Velter, associate director of Lodgis, an estate agency specializing in furnished rentals, this has ‘scared homeowners’ who were previously using Airbnb. She adds:

“Five agreements have been signed with landlords who we know have come from using Airbnb. The figure might seem small but it’s important to note that not all landlords reveal this to us.”

The increased fine of €50,000 for those not following the rule – one million euros in total was reprimanded last year – has combined with ‘pull factors’ towards furnished rentals. Firstly, rent caps were recently abolished by a French court. While the result is being contested, for now landlords are free to charge what they want on new leases.

Secondly, a new 1-10 month lease has been proposed by Macron and will be debated and voted on in the National Assembly. The measure would be aimed at freelancers and those with on temporary stays in the city. Landlords who are only in the city for a few months a year, say in summer, will be able to rent their property out the rest of the time.

Rates of rent in furnished rentals, which are more profitable anyway, are also growing faster than their unfurnished cousin. According to rental observatory think-tank Clamor, furnished rents grew 0.6% last year while unfurnished rates decreased the same amount. Landlords of smaller properties – studios and one-bed flats – tend to go for furnished the most.

 

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