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EU Court Backs French Law Regulating Airbnb

Short-term vacation rental website, Airbnb logo

Europe’s top court on Tuesday upheld France’s law requiring municipal authorisation for short-term property rentals by platforms like Airbnb, a decision that may open the way for several European cities to take action.

“Combatting the long-term rental housing shortage constitutes an overriding reason relating to the public interest justifying such legislation,” the European Court of Justice said, throwing out a challenge.

An alliance of 22 European cities has been pushing for tougher rules to Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms, accusing them of driving up property prices by turning residences into de facto hotels.

Paris fined two landlords who rented out studio apartments without authorisation from the city, leading them to appeal against the decision all the way to the top EU court, which found against them on Tuesday and ruled that France’s rule “is consistent with EU law.”

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