The 4 essential steps to follow before listing my property as furnished tourist accommodation

In this article, French lawyer Lorène Derhy details the steps to transform your property into furnished tourist accommodation.


December 18, 2020

The 4 essential steps to follow before listing my property as furnished tourist accommodation

In Paris, in the departments of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne, as well as in towns with more than 200,000 inhabitants, the short-term rental of real estate , on an Airbnb type platform depends on three cumulative and independent criteria, namely:

  • its use with regard to the construction code (step 1);
  • its use, the destination of the building for buildings subject to the regime of the co-ownership (step 2);
  • of its destination within the meaning of town planning law (step 3).

Once these three steps have been completed, do not forget to register your furnished accommodation with the Town Hall of the location of your well (step 4).

Lawyer Lorène Derhy details each of these steps in this article.

STEP 1: What is the use of my property with regard to the rules of construction law?

In Paris and in all three departments of the inner Paris suburbs (Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne), as well as in towns with more than 200,000 inhabitants, specific regulations are applies to seasonal rental by requiring the transformation of “residential premises” into premises for “other use” (commercial, hotel, etc.), as long as it is not the main residence of the owner .

How do I know the use of my premises?

The premises are deemed to be “residential use” as long as they had this use in FACT on January 1, 1970 and provided that this use has not been subsequently modified in LAW by the filing of a building permit or a prior declaration (with or without work).

The assignment to a use “other than residential” on January 1, 1970 can be proven by any means (land revision form, notarial deeds, leases in force in 1970 , professional tax statement, etc.).

This search is only of interest in the case where the premises are described as being for “residential use” and you wish to be able to contest this use.

Obtain authorization for change of use to rent my residential premises on Airbnb

If your premises are deemed to be for “residential use” since they had this use in fact on January 1, 1970 and they have not subsequently been legally modified, you cannot put them up for seasonal rental.

To do this, you must transform them to a “use other than residential”, by first obtaining authorization for change of use from the Mayor of the location of the premises.

In the majority of large cities, the Mayor combines his authorization with an obligation of “compensation” in the form of the concomitant transformation into habitation of premises “for another use”.

The principle of “compensation” imposes:

  • either to offer as compensation premises for “other use than housing” which you own and which you are going to transform into housing;
  • or to purchase a compensation title from a third party, owner of premises allocated to “another use as housing” (offices, shops, etc.) which he will transform into housing.

Each municipality freely sets the compensation coefficient. In Paris, the rules to follow are set by a municipal regulation.

What is the sanction if I do not follow the change of use procedure?

If you rent one of your secondary residences without having first made the change of use in violation of article L 631-7 of the CCH, you expose yourself to the risk of being prosecuted by the Municipality and sentenced to a fine. maximum civil fine of €50,000/apartment, in addition to a penalty of a maximum amount of €1,000 per day and per m2 to see the return of the premises to housing (L 651-2 of the CCH).

Likewise, criminal sanctions are possible in the event of false declaration, concealment or attempted concealment of premises subject to declaration: 1 year of imprisonment and a fine of €80,000.

STEP 2: Do my co-ownership regulations authorize me to rent my furnished Airbnb property?

Before putting your property up for seasonal rental on an Airbnb type platform, you must check that the co-ownership regulations of your building do not contain any restrictive clause on this type of rental.

To this end, it is advisable to carefully study the co-ownership regulations and their descriptive state of division in order to ensure the allocation of your lots, the destination of your building, but also its conditions of enjoyment.

If the transformation of your commercial premises into furnished tourist accommodation should not pose any difficulties in principle, it may be different for your residential premises whether or not they constitute your main or secondary residence.

In any case, the use of your lots or their change of use must take place while respecting the destination of the building and the tranquility of the neighborhood. It is important to be assisted by a lawyer so that he can assess the legality of your project and to protect you against possible complaints from your co-ownership.

STEP 3: Change the destination of my property to hotel accommodation

The urban planning destination of a property is what it was built for and can vary within the limits of what is authorized by the local urban planning plan (PLU).

Seasonal rental is considered a “hotel” destination in urban planning terms.

So if you are the owner of premises for “commercial” or “residential” use, you should obtain a change of destination to “hotel accommodation” which can be done by a simple prior declaration; which can only intervene subject to:

  • absence of prohibition resulting from the PLU;
  • the rights of co-owners;

Otherwise, you risk being exposed to a “fine of between 1,200 euros and an amount which cannot exceed, i.e., in the case of construction of a floor area, a sum equal to 6,000 euros per square meter of surface area constructed, demolished or rendered unusable within the meaning of article L 430-2, i.e., in other cases, an amount of 300,000 euros” (L 480-4 of the Town Planning Code).

STEP 4: Register my furnished Airbnb with the Town Hall

You must register your furnished accommodation on your Town Hall's online service, otherwise you risk a fine of up to €5,000. Under this procedure, you will obtain a 13-digit number that you must enter on each of your advertisements.

For more information, do not hesitate to consult this video by Me Derhy.


The DERHY AVOCAT Firm is recognized as one of the best specialists in furnished tourist rentals such as Airbnb. As such, Lorène DERHY is regularly called upon in her capacity as an expert in the press and media to comment on legal news in this area.

Main adversary of the City of Paris, the DERHY AVOCAT Firm assists, advises and defends:

- owners or tenants controlled and/or assigned by the City of Paris for their furnished tourist rentals.

- digital platforms and tourist intermediaries (short-term rental concierge / real estate agents)

It also assists and represents:

- lessors who wish to recover the civil fruits from their tenant under their illicit subletting activity but also obtain their expulsion.

- co-ownership associations who wish to put an end to the seasonal rental activity against 'a co-owner,

- owners who are the subject of a formal notice or legal proceedings with a view to having their activity cease by their trustee.

Finally, the DERHY AVOCAT firm also supports investors wishing to transform their premises in furnished tourist accommodation, advising them on the legality of such a project both from an urban planning point of view and with regard to their co-ownership regulations.

Contact :

9 rue le Tasse – 75116 Paris

Tel : 01-55-74-70-70

Email :

Lorène Derhy
Lorène Derhy