Hotel or Apartment? Paris vacation apartment laws may scare you

In just four short months I will be flying to Paris to spend June in the City of Lights.  This year, I’ll bring my teenage daughter Anna for ten days followed by ten days with my husband Ken.  Last summer when I left Paris, I had planned to rent the gorgeous apartment on St. Louis en L’isle—light streamed through the large windows opened onto the street while hard wood floors and high ceilings provided historic character.  Located in the heart of Paris—the location was ideal.  And our landlords, next door, attended to all the little issues that arose like the refrigerator door that wouldn’t close and the internet code that didn’t work.  I vowed to rent the apartment again this summer.

But since then I’ve had second thoughts.  Paris is making it more difficult for tourists renting apartments in the city—Paris officials want these apartments available for Parisians to rent year round.  According to an article in The New York Times, to legally offer short-term rentals, owners would need to have their residential properties reclassified as commercial sites, a complicated process that involves finding a commercial property in the same neighborhood that can be transformed into residential use.

“It isn’t difficult; it is impossible,” said Fabrice Luzu, a notary who has helped many international clients invest in city real estate. “The owner must apply for a special permit and there is very little chance he would obtain it.”
Without such a permit, any apartment classified as residential in a French city of more than 200,000 must be offered with a minimum one-year lease. The law, passed in 2005, has some exceptions for student housing.

I’m looking for a low stress answer to my Paris vacation and becoming entangled in the Paris apartment rental laws is not in the picture for me.  After investigating hotels on the Ile Saint Louis I found what seems to be a perfect match.  And the bonus of staying in a hotel is air conditioning, an elevator, car service from the airport and complimentary breakfast.

So as much as I’ll miss my Paris pied a terre, I’m looking forward to my pampered month in Paris at a hotel.

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