3 year-old Alur law shows mixed results

3 years after its enactment, what is the Alur law’s assessment? This text which consists in 177 articles was aiming at fostering the dealings between lessors and tenants as well as making the access to housing easier for everyone. But what’s the current situation? What are the consequences for furnished rentals? Here is my somewhat mitigated analysis.

  1. If setting the standard rental contract, the list of mandatory equipment to rent out a property, or even the state of play’s list filled some legal gaps, the Alur law and its implementing decrees don’t bring anything new to the table. Indeed, these measures only legalized some customs which were already put into practice and approved by the jurisprudence. Which can leave perplex as to the real contribution of the Alur law in ruling the market.
  2. The Alur law aimed at better informing tenants. It, thus, required to attach a multitude of documents to the rental contract: copy of the joint ownership property’s regulation, additional technical diagnostic, information note, etc. Yet, will the tenants read each one of these indigestible documents? Nothing could be less certain…
  3. Concerning furnished rentals, out of the 177 passed articles, none fills the yet proven legal gap regarding the notion of “short-term”. Indeed, it’s unfortunate that we legally can’t make any difference between tourist furnished rental (nightly or weekly) and temporary furnished rental (several months to a year), the latter responding to a real need particularly among business travelers (for a mission or expatriation, etc.) or even the students. This breach gives way to a noxious legal vagueness for tenants and owners.
  4. An other failure of the Alur law: its main measure the rent caps, which is now effective in Paris and Lille. It is particularly questionable regarding furnished rentals in Paris. Indeed, the calculation method of the rent benchmark was arbitrarily set by the prefect: since the OLAP (local observatory for rent) didn’t have enough data to determine a rent benchmark for furnished rentals, the Prefect decided to increase the unfurnished rentals’ lease of 11%, and this, regardless of their location or characteristics. This measure shows once again the little interest given towards furnished rentals.
  5. Initially, the Alur law was created to improve the dealings between lessors and tenants and make housing more accessible for everyone. Yet, sadly, it seems like the measures adopted until now had the opposite effect. Tenants take no responsibility: this way after they signed a lease and, consequently, accepted its conditions, they have a three month period in which to dispute the potential extra charges. Moreover, they aren’t required to pay a compensation if they are late on their rent, in contrast, the owners will have to pay a compensation to the tenants if they take too long to give their security deposit back! Then, we understand that the lessors are more and more demanding regarding their tenants’ guarantees, thus creating certain frustrations on the latter’s side (especially in densely populated areas). So, the Alur law has the opposite effect compared to its originally expected results, that is to say, facilitate the access to housing for everyone.

Three years after its enactment, the Alur law’s assessment is mixed for everyone: tenants, lessors, estate professionals, parliamentarians. We can legitimately wonder what will the next government do about it… It’s worth keeping an eye on it.

Find the entire article of my Opinion column “The Alur law, 3 years later: The furnished rentals market sails on troubled waters” on Lodgis’ website.

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About me

Maud Velter
Maud Velter
Legal & practical advice for furnished rentals
Associate and Legal Director of Lodgis, furnished rentals and property law specialist

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