A year after being implemented, what are the effects of the rental caps in Paris? With the measures as expected to be extended to the Ile de France by 2018, what can we draw from this? Suggested answers…
1/ Often criticized, extra charges are a key component for getting a fair price. In fact, the standard rent is defined based on just 4 criteria (location, period of building, furnished/unfurnished and number of rooms) without taking into account the condition of the property or even the services offered (elevator, parking, etc.). The additional charges are therefore not a way of « bypassing » the law, as often suggested, but legal means of setting the appropriate rent for a property based on its characteristics of location and amenities that are not taken into account in the standard reference rent.
2/ Tenants up-to-date with the rent. In fact, while tenants are entitled to up to 3 months after signing the contract to contest the rent for their accommodation (including the extra charges), only forty-or-so cases have been registered with the commission de conciliation in one year.
3/ Improving access to housing is still a fantasy. The primary aim of the rental caps in Paris was to make housing more accessible by restricting price increases. Unfortunately, since the housing stock in the capital has not increased, and landlords want to protect themselves against unpaid rent, it is always those with the best records who are ultimately accepted by landlords.
In addressing these economic realities, the rent caps, implemented by the loi ALUR, don’t appear to be actually improving access to housing for low-income households. The only solution is to put more accommodation on the market to solve the supply and demand crisis.
Find my full “Opinion Column” (in French) on Lodgis’ website.