Last Spring, we had the pleasure of spending a whole week in Paris. We rented a 2 bedroom apartment and were joined by our daughter, son-in-law and our almost two year old granddaughter. The purpose of our visit was to attend our youngest daughter’s graduation from a six month discipleship training program run by YWAM Paris.

Initially we didn’t think we would be spending seven days in Paris. But our daughter wasn’t entirely sure how her final week would unfold around the actual graduation ceremony. Not that we were complaining, a week in Paris in a lovely apartment in a lively neighborhood is not much of a hardship.

We found a flat on Airbnb in the same Belleville neighborhood my daughter’s school was in. It was a great deal and fit our needs. Truthfully, it fit our needs so well that my wife and I started to think how seamless a transition to this style of living could be with a little preparation.

More on that in a future post…..

Regarding Airbnb and their competitors, the City of Paris has enacted some strict laws regarding the renting out of properties. This could affect companies like Airbnb and Homeaway going forward, but so far it hasn’t scared them away.

In fact, there is some debate that the law will have little to no effect. It requires hosts to register with their respective town halls before listing an apartment and states that rentals will be limited to 120 days per year. Officials insist that if registered properly, the 120 day law can/and will be enforced.

Before the ruling was to take effect on Dec. 1, Airbnb said they would enforce the law in the first four arrondissements. These are some of the most concentrated areas for tourism. It would include the Marais, the area around and including Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Centre Pompidou, among other attractions.

Paris officials were unimpressed with Airbnb’s gesture, as it does not include tourist heavy neighborhoods like Montmartre and the Left Bank / Latin Quarter.

It’s difficult not to sympathize with full time residents. I’m sure they know there will always be a strong market for short term rentals in world class cities like Paris — the benefits causing many to overlook the negatives; as in this case, a law that is already in place not being adhered to. For those who value the tourist dollars over a few more nights of peace and quiet, it’s full steam ahead? Stay tuned.

For us tourists / travelers, we could go a long way to help out the local population by being more considerate of our temporary neighbors and remembering that we are guests in their country and should act accordingly.

The benefits for us? More open doors to connect with the local culture.