What’s new for holiday rentals in Nice?

Update as of 3 April 2024:

To date, no new deliberation has been taken by the Town of Nice, and the deliberation of May 2021 is being applied, with, crossed out, the part relating to the need to produce a copy of the co-ownership agreement.

In practice, the forms used to formalise the application for the change of use no longer refer to the need to justify, or even certify, that seasonal rental is allowed in the building.

As a result, now is a good time to obtain such authorisations… Good news before the summer! (until the next version of the text).


If you read the same newspapers as I do (I hope you don’t), you may have seen that on 31 January 2024 the Nice Administrative Court cancelled the deliberation of the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan authority from 31 May 2021 which regulated furnished tourist rentals in Nice.

This deliberation constitutes the legal basis on which the city of Nice examines the changes of use, which constitute the essential authorisation for “airbnb”-type letting in Nice.


Direct consequence of the cancellation of the deliberation.

Although some people were concerned that there would be a windfall in terms of the applicable rules, in my view this is not the case; quite the contrary.

At the time of writing, the Métropole website is still being updated, and no forms or information are available; in practice, it would appear that the appointments granted have been cancelled, and the files are no longer being processed.


Why did the court impose this sanction?

The text was only invalidated because it could be interpreted as subjecting authorisation for a change of use to the discretionary prior agreement of the general meeting of co-owners of a building, even though the co-ownership’s agreement do not provide for this, particularly in cases where the co-ownership agreements are silent on the question of furnished tourist accommodation or when there is no such document.

I almost feel like saying that this is a problem of a misplaced comma in the orignal regularisation, and a risk of interpretation that I have never encountered in my professional practice.

In practice, in the applications submitted, the local authorities asked for either a certificate from the syndic or extracts from the co-ownership agreement showing that it was possible to rent on a seasonal basis.

However, the so-called “attestations from the syndic” are generally only produced in the case of change where the co-ownership agreement is ambiguous about the possibility of letting furnished accommodation, and producing the co-ownership agreement would almost certainly result in the application being rejected.


But what can we expect in the future?

As I wrote earlier, the city of Nice is moving towards tighter control over rentals.

In my opinion, in order to comply with the decision of the Nice Court (against which it has appealed), the City may be tempted to ask for the co-ownership agreement to be produced in full, which it will then interpret.

However, the limitation of this analysis is that, officially, as I was told by the municipal services, “the analysis of the private co-ownership agreement does not come within the competence of the municipal administration“; therefore, the current deadlock could persist.

To date, the interpretations given by the City of Nice to the co-ownership agreements that I have seen in my practice are very strict and open to criticism.
The interpretations given by the town of the extracts from the co-owenership agreement communicated with the files submitted lead to a de facto interpretation of those documents, which from a purely legal point of view is problematic.

We can therefore anticipate longer processing times for applications where there will be an analysis of co-ownership agreement, and numerous rejection decisions, given the city’s current strict position on the matter, as the city of Nice does not wish under any circumstances to be in conflict with the co-owners of a building taken as a whole.

However, I maintain my position that the City of Nice’s interpretation of the case law in such matters is too strict, and that the case law it invokes to justify its rejection decisions is generally not applicable to the cases under investigation.

As a result, there will be a large number of disputes which, I believe, will eventually lead to a framework of local case law rulings which will provide a secure interpretation of the various provisions contained in co-ownership agreements (in practice, there are not an infinite number of clauses to be interpreted on the subject).

This means that we are still a long way from a radical change in Nice’s policy in this matter, even if the city currently finds itself in a complex situation from the point of view of the legality of its positions.

Cabinet RM is of course at your disposal to help you with any changes of use.

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