Far from the 2017 suspension, the rental control system in Paris suffered a hitch in the early summer. Indeed, on Friday 8 July the administrative court of Paris partially suspended the experiment for the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

A judgment resulting from an appeal by the National Union of Owners (UNPI). “This decision is good news. It supports the struggle that we have been waging for several years and brings to light the legal abuses that have been carried out ”, cheers Christophe Demerson, its president.

“In the current inflationary environment with the Rent Reference Index (IRL) ceiling and the lack of rental supply, this system further reduces the supply of available housing. The annulment of the TAR underlines the legal instability of this decree ”, continues the National Union in its statement.

A decision to put into perspective

However, this decision should be put into perspective, according to Me Rossi-Landi, a lawyer specializing in real estate law in Paris. “It’s not a revolution,” he says. In concrete terms, not much will change. The cancellation of the 2019 decree does not call into question the rent control system. It is a question of administrative justification and not of the principle of control itself ”.

Proof of this is another two judgments of the courts issued this Friday 8 July, in fact the prefectural decrees for the application of rent control for the years 2020 and 2021 have been confirmed.

In the contested motivation of the decree issued in 2019, the administrative court emphasizes that “the documents produced by the prefect (…) do not contain an analysis of the structuring of the rental market (editor’s note: which demonstrates the existence of a tense area) on the territory of the municipality of Paris after 2017 “. In other words, the prefecture did not send the court documents sufficiently precise to justify the establishment of the framework provided for by the ELAN law (article 140).

Some leases now contestable

Furthermore, the court found a second flaw, this time relating to the date of publication of the decree. This is based on a document that won’t be officially published until … two months later. “The OLAP report (Ed: Observatory of rents in the Paris conurbation) on the evolution in 2018 of residential rents in the private rental sector in the Paris conurbation was published in July 2019, ie after the date of the contested decree”, observes the Court.

In the end, “only the lease contracts stipulated between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 that could be the subject of a complaint are affected,” explains Me Rossi-Landi. She continues: “Landlords who have not complied with rent control during this period do not risk any criminal prosecution. On the other hand, some landlords who have complied with it when they could not have done so, are in theory now able to appeal ”. A procedure “that is not valid” according to the professional, taking into account in particular the costs to be incurred.

An opinion also shared by Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing. He sees it as “a judgment without consequences” and hopes the state will appeal.

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