Airbnb sued in France by the tourist island of Oléron

Airbnb sued in France by the tourist island of Oléron


The Île d'Oléron, in the west of France, is claiming nearly 30 million euros from Airbnb for failures to collect tourist tax in 2020 and 2021, the platform's latest disappointment rental accommodation in France.

The island's community of municipalities criticizes the tourist rental platform for not having made a “declaration relating to the tourist tax” the first year, then produced an “incomplete and erroneous” declaration the following year, in a summons before justice consulted Monday by AFP.

The company Airbnb Ireland (the European headquarters of the company located in Dublin) is summoned to appear on April 25 before the judicial court of La Rochelle, to which the community of municipalities requests that the platform be ordered to pay four civil fines totaling 29.7 million euros, as revealed on Sunday by the newspaper Le Figaro.

This sum corresponds to the maximum fine provided for by the Local Authorities Code in the event of failure to pay the tourist tax, i.e. 2,500 euros, multiplied by the number of stays concerned over the period (nearly 12,000).< /p>

The Île d'Oléron community had already claimed from Airbnb the payment of more than 400,000 euros in taxes not paid in 2020 and 2021, an amount which the platform paid last September after a first showdown.

But the community of communes does not want to stop there. “Airbnb cannot be satisfied with making a payment of what was due”, considers its lawyer, Me Jonathan Bellaïche. “It does not sanction non-collection and non-declaration”, he adds, while “the law provides for sanctions” in this case.

“The problem came from an error technical and was resolved last year as soon as we were informed. All the amounts identified as under-collected have already been paid, with the legal interest on arrears,” reacted Monday in an Airbnb press release.

With this summons, which the platform claims not to have received yet, the community wants to set an example, because its case is not unique, according to its president, Michel Parent. “Several communities of municipalities asked us to find out how we had been able to recover the sum from previous years,” he explains.

On January 17, following a summons from the same elected d'Oléron, another tourist rental platform, Booking, was ordered by the La Rochelle court to communicate the number of nights booked on the island through it in 2020 and 2021. The community also accuses it of similar shortcomings.

On January 13, Airbnb announced that it had paid 148 million euros in tourist tax to French municipalities in 2022, an amount up 60% compared to the previous year.

At the beginning of January, the French courts confirmed the conviction of Airbnb in the offense committed by a Parisian tenant, who had illegally sublet her accommodation.