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Airbnb and Century 21: the art of breaking the rules

After six months of discussions, Airbnb France and Century 21 France announce a "historic" agreement aimed at "simplifying and facilitating" the sublease of accommodations.

At a time when the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Japan are tightening their regulations to limit Airbnb's growth, maintaining the number of ads available on the platform has become a strategic priority.

Although common, hidden subletting, without the prior consent of the lessor, is simply illegal. The legal departments of the two companies have thus come up with a "win-win solution for the tenant and the owner, where everything will be done by the book," promises Laurent Vimont, President of Century 21 France.

Initially tested in Paris, this "Bail Century21 Airbnb-compatible " will be possible from the beginning of the school year through the 852 branches of the Century 21 network. The partnership could soon be extended to several other cities in France: Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), Lyon (Rhône), Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), Bordeaux (Gironde), Montpellier (Hérault).

Based on income sharing between tenants, this new scheme will make it possible to open up furnished tourist rental more widely and offer additional income to the inhabitants who need it most: students, young families and modest households who do not have the means to access homeownership.

The idea was born during the meeting at the end of 2017 between the two leaders Emmanuel Marill (Airbnb) and Laurent Vimont (Century21).

"We know that everywhere in France a lot of tenants would like to or need to sublease their apartment. 60% of Parisians are tenants and housing is their main expense!" explains Emmanuel Marill, Director of Airbnb France.

Once the owner has agreed, everything is then managed by a trusted professional. The agency is responsible for putting the ad online and all applicable administrative procedures.

Thus, the new "Airbnb lease" which will take the form of an amendment to the existing rental lease aims to share the income generated between the tenant (70% of the gains), the owner (23%) and the real estate agency (7%).

In Paris, where the number of overnight stays is limited, Century 21 will take care of registering the announcement with city services.

"As long as there is the written agreement of the owner, that the limit of 120 nights is not exceeded and that the registration number of the advertisement is properly recorded, this does not present a problem," reacts Ian Brossat, deputy (PCF) of the Paris City Hall in charge of housing.

What's the owner's interest? "In addition to the financial aspect, it can enable him to retain his tenant, especially students who often have problems paying rent in July-August when they are absent," replied Laurent Vimont.

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