In recent years, companies such as Uber, Deliveroo or in this case, Airbnb, have become global behemoths disrupting the markets they occupy.
Technological advances often have the advantage of offering a modern alternative, but sometimes with unexpected constraints. In the case of Airbnb, the illegal subletting by malignant tenants (or fraudulent according to the views) has not escaped the rule: this platform that makes easier to find a cheap holiday home sometimes provokes the ire of homeowners who see their property as long-term rentals subleased without their agreement and tenants generate profits on their backs.
In a recent decision of June 5, 2018, the Court of Appeal of Paris however threw a pavement in the pond: tenants were condemned to refund to their owner all the rents resulting from an illegal renting Airbnb. The principle is simple: the tenant must obtain the express permission of its owner to have the right to sublet the apartment he occupies. In view of this decision, he must now reimburse any profits from subletting.
In our case, tenants rented their homes for years via the Airbnb platform. Having learned about this practice, the landlord asked for and obtained the refund of all the rents resulting from the subletting.
The basis of the decision is not without audacity either because the TGI of Paris was based on the principle of accession provided for in Article 546 of the Civil Code: the ownership of a thing gives right to everything that it produces. There is no doubt that this decision should scare malicious tenants (sic or fraudulent!) even if, it is true, a decision of the Court of Cassation on this issue would be timely.