Paris | Rent control is progressing in Paris and in several large cities in France, according to the Abbé Pierre Foundation
The share of rental advertisements in Paris which exceed the legal ceiling is decreasing
This is rare good news in the housing sector in recent months. According to the Abbé Pierre Foundation barometer made public on Thursday October 5, the share of rental advertisements in Paris which exceed the legal ceiling is decreasing. From 31% in 2022 and 35% in 2021, this rate fell to 28% in 2023. The foundation is presenting the results from other cities for the first time.
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The study, which is based on the analysis of 25,000 advertisements recorded between August 2022 and August 2023, concludes that “the progression of this system” of rent control first put in place by the Paris City Hall for signed leases since 2019.
Rent control was made possible on an experimental basis by the Elan law of 2018. It prohibits landlords from asking tenants for an amount greater than a given sum, varying according to neighborhood depending on the state of the market. It applies in areas of more than 50,000 inhabitants, “where there is a marked imbalance between supply and demand for housing”.
Concretely, for tenants, non-compliant monthly rents in Paris exceed the legal ceiling by an average of 237 euros, or more than 2,800 euros per year. For the Paris City Hall deputy in charge of housing, Ian Brossat (PCF), rent control produces “its first effects (…) in particular by giving tenants a weight which changes the balance of power” with the lessor.
Call to the government
The barometer “also shows that new cities are taking advantage of it and seeking to promote” the system, according to the foundation. In Lyon-Villeurbanne, 34% of advertisements exceed the legal ceiling, down 2 points over one year; in Lille, 37% (compared to 43% in 2022) and in Montpellier, 16%, down by almost half. Nationally, 30% of housing advertisements exceed the ceiling (198 euros, on average).
The foundation calls on the government to authorize “volunteer” cities which have submitted requests, such as Marseille or Bayonne, to implement the framework. “The simple fact that it exists already has an effect on honest owners”, some also using the standard as a “marker of the state of the market” to set a price, estimated the foundation’s director of studies, Manuel Domergue .
Nevertheless, the fact that there are “very few sanctions, which remain affordable, encourages [some] to try it”, according to Mr. Domergue who emphasizes that the lack of information can also make it possible to “flout the law without that the tenant is informed. Currently, the control of rent overruns relies on reporting by tenants.