Bastia wants to regulate the rental of furnished tourist accommodation

A report was presented by the majority, Thursday, to the municipal council, in response to a motion tabled by the opposition, to fight against this problem. The device adopted unanimously to control and limit this type of housing must be validated in several months.

“IThere were a lot of people in Bastia for this tourist season and they weren’t going to the hotels.” Pierre Savelli, the mayor of Bastiaposes the problem in these terms when responding to a motion from the opposition group Unione per Bastia.

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In the viewfinder, the rental of furnished tourist accommodation and its consequences on housing: “Since the 2010s, accommodation offered by individuals via the main international platforms now represents an essential segment of the island tourism economy, asks Jean-Sébastien de Casalta, member of Unione per Bastia. According to Eurostat, which publishes an estimate of these nights thanks to a partnership with four of the main platforms (Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor), more than 186,000 stays and 3.088 million nights were spent in these accommodations in Corsica in 2019.

Location for speculative use in the viewfinder

The former chairman of the Bastia bar continues his observation based on several figures: “The island population represents 0.5% of the national population and 3% of overnight stays recorded on these platforms. For comparison, this is almost equivalent to the number of overnight stays recorded in island hotels in 2019: 3.203 million. period July-August 2019, the number of nights spent in these accommodations is even higher than that of nights recorded in island hotels: + 470,000. According to an ATC study published in May 2022, Bastia with 759 accommodations offered at rental via platforms is the sixth largest city in Corsica.”

Faced with this picture where the commercial accommodation sector is in competition and the available accommodation is disappearing, the elected official does not want to propose a “sanctionary” device. Particularly with regard to “those for whom the rental of tourist accommodation is an essential source of income”. Rental for speculative use is, on the contrary, in the crosshairs.

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Like the deliberation voted by the Community of agglomeration of Bastia (Cab), on July 25, the city wants to approve the principle of a regulation of the rentals of furnished tourist accommodation through the establishment of a regulation change of use of residential premises and the introduction of a registration number for furnished tourist accommodation.

“An additional threat to the city and its inhabitants”

The implementation of this change of use procedure has the effect of submitting to authorization the transformation of any accommodation into premises for another use, in particular, but not exclusively, furnished accommodation. This procedure does not apply to principal residences rented for a maximum of 120 days per calendar year. On the other hand, it prohibits the rental, without having obtained authorization for a change of use, of a secondary residence, regardless of the duration of this rental and of main residences rented for more than 120 days per calendar year. The registration number makes it possible to track and control furnished tourist accommodation.

So many points where the opposition and the majority agree. Pierre Savelli, on the other hand, is reluctant on the proposal to implement compensation in the event of a change of use. “The person who transforms accommodation into furnished accommodation must transform commercial premises into accommodation, suggests Jean-Sébastien de Casalta. This makes it possible to maintain the possibility of installing furnished accommodation in old accommodation, while not reducing the supply of accommodation.”

For the mayor of Bastia, this measure would amount to “shoot yourself in the foot” : “It would make us take the risk of having ground floor accommodation instead of commercial premises. This is not what we want.”

Emmanuelle de Gentili, first deputy delegate for city policy, also shares the opposition’s observation but wants, above all, to legally secure a future regulatory process: “The explosion of furnished tourist accommodation has led to a reduction in the normal rental supply and an increase in rental prices. Today, we are far from the owner who rents to obtain additional income. We have seen this in the citadel. There are organizations and corporations that represent several dozen rental units. All of this poses an additional threat to the city and its residents.”

The elected representative takes Saint-Malo or La Seyne-sur-Mer as an example, in order “to act to find a balance and not ruin the soul of the city center”. The assistant then lists the municipal measures already in place: taxation of second homes, plan to fight against vacancy, reassignment of the feet of the building for commercial premises, replacing Airbnb.

Majority and opposition finally choose to agree unanimously to vote on the report. After the words, it remains to define the concrete measures in several months on the occasion of a next city council.

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Bastia wants to regulate the rental of furnished tourist accommodation