Residents of posh Paris island rake in cash on Airbnb
Homeowners on the Ile Saint-Louis in central Paris, which has some of the city's most expensive real estate, are being kept in style by Airbnb rentals, a survey showed Thursday.
Conducted by a tourism industry association it showed that nearly two thirds -- 63 percent -- of the 214 buildings on the tiny island of film stars, scribes and sheikhs "have at least one Airbnb apartment or similar".
A total of 314 residential units, representing 17 percent of the island's stock, are available for rental on Airbnb or other home-sharing websites, the survey said.
Only about one-third of dwellings on the smaller of two islets in the Seine river, next to the Ile de la Cite where Notre-Dame Cathedral is situated, were inhabited by the owner.
The survey took place as Parisians express growing frustration with the never-ending stream of Airbnb tenants carting luggage up the stairs of their apartment buildings.
Across France, 44 percent of the homes advertised on Airbnb are permanently available for rental, the survey found.
Apart from being noisy the tourist tenants are accused of driving up rental prices.
The tourism industry group behind the study accused California-based Airbnb of fuelling the emergence of a veritable property "industry".
Many homeowners rented their homes for more than the four months a year allowed under French law, the study claimed.
Airbnb, which was launched in 2008 and now has some 40 million users worldwide, has also raised the hackles of traditional hotel chains who see it as a rival that flouts tax laws.
The company recently agreed to pay a tourist tax to Paris from each of its bookings in the city.
© 2015 AFP