Airbnb Takes Reservations That Cannot Be Honored | Airbnb

In March we booked an apartment at Berlin with Airbnb and having found a place to stay, we booked flights. This was later canceled by the host, who spoke of his attorney’s advice. I looked on the web but couldn’t find much information to suggest if this was a real reason so I booked elsewhere. The second reservation was then refused; however, it later became clear that this was because it had recently become illegal to offer an entire apartment for rent in Berlin. Therefore, after booking flights, we had little choice but to book other (more expensive) accommodation.

I complained to Airbnb that this was a bad business practice and requested that they cover the extra charges we now had to pay for a hotel as we were misled with our initial reservation. It has, predictably perhaps, diminished. His argument is that it is up to the inhabitants to obey the laws. You might want to warn other people who have made reservations. SP, by e-mail

We have received a few letters from readers complaining that their reservations had been canceled in this vein. In May, Berlin authorities banned residents from renting entire apartments, but despite this, Airbnb is still accepting reservations for them. We looked this week and there were 17 pages of properties that could be reserved – in apparent violation of that law. We asked Airbnb what was going on and they told us the details of the decision weren’t clear and that was why there were still so many listings.

“Berlin’s interpretation of the law is confusing to local residents; they called for clarity and echoed the concerns of politicians and independent experts about the law and its impact on residents. We want to work with policymakers on clear and simple rules for ordinary Berliners who share their homes to pay the bills, ”he says.

If you’ve made an Airbnb booking for this summer in Berlin, you might want to revisit it, or at least have a back-up plan.

We accept letters but cannot respond individually. Write to us at [email protected] or write to Consumer Champions, Money, The Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number

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