The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, should not have issued an order banning vacation rentals in his city, said the Council of State, which canceled the order in question on February 16, 2021.
Nice: the decree was canceled thanks to the Union of tourism rental professionals
Suspended on February 8, 2021 by the summary judge of the Nice administrative court, the order of the mayor, Christian Estrosi, prohibiting seasonal rentals in the territory of his municipality from February 6 to 20, 2021, has just been canceled by the Council of state. The latter therefore confirms: the decree in question was illegal. This cancellation confirms the merits of the seizure of the Union of Tourism Rental Professionals (UPLT), which had launched the process of contesting the famous decree.
As explained by the Council of State, in accordance with the emergency law of March 23, 2020, the responsibility for enacting general or individual measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic lies with the State. This, in order to ensure their consistency and efficiency throughout the territory. Mayors can only take additional epidemic control measures for compelling reasons related to local circumstances specific to their municipality.
For the Council of State, the decree is indefensible for many reasons
In his decree, Christian Estrosi indeed referred to an unfavorable situation in the Alpes-Maritimes department in terms of “positivity” to Covid-19 as well as a large proportion of elderly people in Nice. With an incidence of 449 per 100,000 inhabitants, against 210 for the national average, the Alpes-Maritimes department is indeed the most affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.
For the Council of State, nothing indicates that there would be a risk of a significant influx of tourists to Nice during the period covered by the ban, particularly in view of the winter season and the postponement of the festivities linked to carnivals. On the other hand, the Council of State is not convinced that a ban on seasonal rentals would be likely to have a significant impact on the spread of the virus. The Council of State also points to a risk of distortion of competition between seasonal rentals and hotels, not subject to such a ban. For the institution, this decree, which it cancels, “seriously and clearly illegal interference with the right to property and the freedom of trade and industry”.