Airbnb awaits Berlin ruling on legality of home sharing – EURACTIV.com

A Berlin court is due to make a landmark ruling with ramifications for home rental companies like Airbnb on Wednesday, June 8, when it decides whether landlords can commit to short-term rentals.

Several colocation companies filed a complaint against an effective ban on such rentals in Berlin during the first substantive challenge to such urban legislation in Europe.

People who rent their accommodation in the German capital for periods of less than two months are liable to fines of up to € 100,000. Although homeowners can apply for a permit, city officials have said they will reject 95% of applications.

The Berlin showdown comes a week after the European Commission warned member states against erecting roadblocks or even outright bans on the emergence of a ‘sharing economy’ in everything from apartments to local rides, enforcing laws that are decades or even centuries old.

EU warns governments against banning Uber and Airbnb

Services like the Uber ridesharing app and home rental site Airbnb should only be banned as a last resort, the European Commission said on Thursday (June 2), as it seeks to foster the development of “the sharing economy “.

Airbnb and other home-sharing companies, such as Rocket Internet’s Wimdu, have sought legal advice from the former head of the Berlin City Constitutional Court following the Berlin crackdown. Helge Sodan ruled the new regulation unconstitutional and drafted the complaint.

Airbnb, whose website lists 11,700 apartments in Berlin, has not joined the group as a plaintiff, but a company spokesperson said the verdict would impact Airbnb’s business and that ‘he was watching closely.

Berlin authorities estimate that a total of 15,000 apartments have been withdrawn from the city’s rental market to be operated as businesses housing tourists. City officials say rising rents and a severe housing shortage have left them with no choice but to impose the measures.

Home rental groups say the city is using the new legislation to whitewash structural housing issues, turning short-term roommates into scapegoats.

While a positive verdict does not have binding legal consequences for other jurisdictions, experts expect it to have repercussions across Europe as cities attempt to balance the interests of the world. the travel and tourism industry with those tenants who fear increased rents.

“Cities are watching each other closely to see what kinds of regulations are possible and the Berlin verdict will surely have an impact on the behavior of other cities,” said Gracia Vara Arribas, a lawyer who has advised the EU on the sharing economy.

EU is moving towards a uniform sharing economy policy

The European Commission will call on member states to review and amend legislation, if necessary, to end the fragmentation facing Uber, Airbnb and other collaborative platforms in Europe, EURACTIV.com has learned.

National and local authorities in the EU are responding to the sharing economy with a patchwork of different regulatory actions. For the European Commission and the Dutch Presidency of the Council, this fragmented approach creates uncertainty for traditional operators, new service providers and consumers, hampering the development of this innovative source of growth.

Since autumn 2015, the Commission has promised a balanced approach to the collaborative economy, ensuring legal certainty, strengthening consumer confidence, maximizing its growth potential and at the same time avoiding potential abuses.

A majority of college members see Uber-type companies as an opportunity and an opportunity for which Europe must find the right answer.

“Once we have new innovations, like Uber-like business innovations, we need to be ready to revamp our old regulatory environment,” Katainen told reporters in Washington last March.

  • June 2: The European Commission has published a set of non-binding guidelines on the sharing economy.
  • End of 2016: Judgment of the European Court of Justice on Uber’s activities in Spain.

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