Berlin short-term rental ban for Airbnb and others appears to be eroding

Skift take

Despite the latest court ruling easing restrictions on short-term rentals in Berlin, there are still many questions about what the city’s housing sharing laws actually mean.

Deanna Ting, Skift

Last year, the Berlin authorities appeared to have implemented one of the short-term rental bans in the world. However, a new ruling appears to suggest the ban is not as tough as it was originally designed, giving hope for home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and its hosts.

The law that came into effect in May 2016 aimed to address the shortage of affordable housing in the city. It basically stated that residents outside the city could not rent apartments or entire houses through alternative accommodation platforms unless the host of that particular residence has a permit to do so.

Berliners who wanted to rent their entire residences on these platforms had to obtain a permit, but they were almost impossible to obtain.

A resident who has applied for a permit to rent his entire house on occasion – and has consistently been denied one – has filed a complaint against the state of Berlin. The Berlin Administrative Court ruled in his favor on September 8 and he is now allowed to rent out his primary residence for up to 182 days a year.

According to a Press statement lawyers for the plaintiff, this decision now applies more broadly to all residents of Berlin, meaning they have the right to obtain permits to operate a short-term rental for up to 182 days a year.

In September 2016, the Berlin Administrative Court ruled that short-term rental permits should also be granted to guests wishing to rent second homes.

Since the introduction of the Berlin law in May 2016, many questions remain as to its interpretation and implementation. City law maintains that houses are to be used as houses, but it is not clear whether house sharing applies under that use.

Lawmakers and politicians also disagree on whether the law allows the rental of single, shared rooms.

This most recent case and the previous case in September 2016, however, seem to suggest that sharing of housing between primary and secondary residences should be allowed, although more details on how the original law should be applied remain. blurry.

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