• Germany's news in English
Hundreds of hosts ignore Berlin’s Airbnb ban
Photo: DPA

Hundreds of hosts ignore Berlin’s Airbnb ban

The Local · 3 May 2016, 14:06

Published: 03 May 2016 11:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 May 2016 14:06 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

May 1st was the day new rules against holiday rentals came into force in Berlin, as the city state has blamed people privately renting homes to tourists through portals such as Airbnb, Wimdu and 9Flats for cutting into a limited property supply and driving up rents.

Rents in Berlin shot up 56 percent between 2009 and 2014, with a housing shortage widely blamed for putting pressure on the market.

And with the city fast becoming one of the most desirable tourist destinations in Europe - last year there were 30.2 million overnight stays in the city - the letting of private properties to tourists is seen as an exacerbation of the problem.

Now people renting entire apartments through the internet platforms are threatened with fines of up to €100,000. Those offering individual rooms in their apartments are not affected.

But hundreds of flats are still being offered on the sites, Spiegel reports.

When The Local searched for an entire apartment in Berlin on AirBnB for May 19th it found more than 300 listed.

“The rules are clear, now it’s time for the individual districts to take action,” Martin Pallgen, spokesperson for the Berlin building authority told Spiegel.

Authorities in Berlin's 12 districts will now have to start the painstaking work of checking the legality of each individual holiday let being offered in the city.

With over 5,000 flats being offered for let in the central district of Mitte alone, the district town halls are set to have their work cut out. City-wide there are between 10,000 and 14,000 privately offered holiday lets.

“It’s real urban warfare,” said Stephan von Dassel, a Green Party town councillor in Mitte.

The central Berlin district is tooling up with 64 new employees to tackle the issue, although none of these have yet been hired.

“The internet platforms need to support us on this,” von Dassel said, adding that he would demand a list with the names of landlords.

AirBnB insisted in an email to The Local that the people of Berlin want a deregulated letting market which allows them to pay living costs.

Story continues below…

"Berlin's housing law is complex and unclear, and the government has released conflicting and confusing statements on how it will be implemented. This is bad news for Berlin and regular locals who occasionally share their homes to afford living costs in the city they love,” Julian Trautwein, head of communications at AirBnB, wrote.

“Berliners understand home sharing is different to other forms of accommodation in the city and want clear and simple home sharing rules.

"We will continue to encourage the government to listen to the people of Berlin and follow the lead of other major cities that have introduced clear, simple and progressive rules to support regular local residents who share their homes to pay the bills."

Other major cities, including Hamburg, Munich, and Stuttgart, have placed restrictions on private holiday lets, although Berlin’s are the strictest.

With AFP

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd