Berlin cracks down on Airbnb – POLITICO

Berlin authorities have threatened to impose heavy fines on people apartment rental in town on sites like Airbnb, Wimdu and 9Flats.

Renting guest rooms is still allowed, but using websites to whip entire apartments could result in a fine of up to €100,000 under rules passed in 2014 and enforced from May 1. Authorities have encouraged residents to report people suspected of breaking the rules.

The law, titled “Zweckentfremdungsverbot,” is designed to protect Berlin’s increasingly scarce and expensive housing market. Rents in the German capital rose by 56% between 2009 and 2014.

“I am absolutely determined to return these hijacked apartments to Berlin residents and newcomers,” said Andreas Geiselresponsible for the city’s urban development.

Berlin Airbnb listings dropped 40% before May deadline, says The Independent.

“We will continue to encourage policy makers in Berlin to listen to their citizens and follow the example of other major cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam or Hamburg and create clear new rules for normal people who share their own accommodation. “said the Airbnb spokesperson. Julian Trautwein said AFP.

Other European states have also tried to crack down on home-sharing sites. Last year, Belgium attempted to rein in property letters that did not pay taxes on their rental profits.

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