Key safes have proliferated in Paris, Source: Depositphotos

City of Paris and its public transit authority clash over Airbnb key safes

City of Paris and its public transit authority clash over Airbnb key safes

One administration seeks to eliminate them, the other to promote them ahead of the Olympics

Key safes, also known as key boxes, have proliferated in the Paris urban environment thanks to short-term rental platforms like Airbnb. You could find all over the place attached to different street furniture hanging like giant lockers holding the keys that grant access to the flats and houses that visitors to the French capital have digitally rented.

The phenomenon had become so pervasive and widespread that at the start of February, the Paris City Council passed a decree banning their use in public spaces. That was another way for the authorities to try and stem the proliferation of Airbnb at the expense of long-term rental opportunities for local residents.

Barbara Gomes, delegated advisor in charge of rent control, rental platforms and tenant protection, also told 20 Minutes that the City wanted to cut the phenomenon in the bud ahead of the Olympic Games in the summer when it was expected it could completely spin out of control.

RATP, however, has a different view on the matter

In quiet opposition though, RATP, the French capital’s public transport authority, has decided to score points and go the opposite direction by promoting its own lockers which are specifically designed and marketed as made for holding keys. They can currently be found in five of the local metro stations.

The RATP assures us that the primary goal is not to favour tourist accommodation. The lockers could be used for babysitters, people who come to do cleaning, etc,” explains Barbara Gomes.

She added that the city administration plans to have a more serious conversation regarding this to air out their concerns that these lockers can be misused by rental platforms. However, she also admitted that the city council didn’t have the power to force RATP to change its policy.



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