Anti-Airbnb regulations finally authorized by justice in the Basque Country

The Pau Administrative Court on Friday revoked the suspension of the compensation measure intended to counter the expansion of furnished tourist accommodation in the Basque Country, of which the Airbnb platform is the symbol.

With an order issued on September 16, the judges of the administrative jurisdiction put an end to the suspension of the execution of the resolution of the Community Council of the Community of agglomeration of the Basque Country of March 5, 2022.

After a suspensive postponement was seized, the same court ruled on June 3 in favor of a group of 50 applicants, owners and gatekeepers, who had raised serious doubts about the legitimacy of this provision passed at the beginning of March.

At the beginning of July the elected representatives of the Basque Country had revised their rules, in the light of the observations made by the referee judges, to propose an adequate version.

The compensation measure obliges landlords to produce, in the same city and of equivalent surface area, a property on the rental market all year round to compensate for accommodation transformed into furnished tourist accommodation. It must apply to 24 municipalities in the Basque Country in a so-called tight zone.

The rules had been clarified, to introduce a better proportionality, given the scarcity or even the non-existence of premises eligible for compensation, underlined by the judges.

In particular, the new regulation allows owners to purchase from other commercial rights for the recovery of premises and also allows the reconversion of the premises on the ground floor, hitherto excluded from the framework, as long as their showcase does not neglect the public domain.

Following this decision, the modified version of the compensation rule can now be applied from 1 March 2023.

The judicial battle between the Basque agglomeration and the applicants is not over, however: after this suspension, an urgent objection on the form of the resolution, a hearing on the merits, on the content of the provision itself and on its legitimacy in the coming months .

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The Alda association, which defends the right to housing in the Basque Country, welcomed this decision, an affront to the various lobbies and timeshare owners (…) who had multiplied the appeals against this regulation, writes in a press release. .

According to her, the March 5 vote has halted the bleeding of the vampire private residential stock from permanent airbnbs and is now discouraging financial investors and bank loans who will wait to know the final outcome of the current legal process before buying occupied housing year. – round to transform them into accommodation facilities.

According to the Agence d’urbanisme Atlantique et Pyrnes (Audap), more than 16,000 tourist accommodation facilities are listed in the 24 municipalities of the Basque Country concerned, with an increase of 130% between 2016 and 2020.

In November, a demonstration for the right to housing gathered between 6,500 and 8,000 people on the streets of Bayonne.

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