New rules for home sharers in Berlin: The new housing law


The new fee schedule of the Law on Administrative Charges, the changes in fees for the official Act prohibiting the use of living spaces for unauthorized purposes (ZwVbG), and the Act Ordinance prohibiting the use of living spaces for unauthorized purposes came into effect on November 7,2018. The following changes must be noted:

  • A fee of €100.00 per unit is charged for the temporary holiday apartment rental of the main residence in Berlin.
  • A fee of €150.00 per unit is charged for permission to rent your secondary residence on a temporary basis in Berlin.

On May 1, the housing law came into force in Berlin. With the new rules, home sharing in Berlin is finally explicitly recognised. We will now give you an overview of the new rules.

The revised law stipulates that, as a rule, home sharers will be granted a permit to rent out their entire main or second home for a short period of time. The prerequisite is that you yourself live permanently or temporarily in the apartment and are registered there. Here are the facts at a glance:

Who does not need a permit

  • You do not need a permit if you only rent one or more rooms in your main residence and the total area of the rented rooms is less than 50% of the area of the apartment.
  • If you rent out your main or second home for a long time, e.g. for several months at a time, you still do not need a permit.
  • The short-term letting of holiday apartments or rooms that qualify as commercial space under building law is not subject to a permit, as the prohibition of misuse only applies to residential space.
  • There are currently still numerous court proceedings pending in which, among other things, it is still being clarified whether further groups of hosts are exempt from the permit requirement. If you would like to know more about this, we recommend that you consult a lawyer.

Who needs a permit

  • You need a permit if you rent 50% or more of the total area of your main residence for a short period, i.e. on a daily or weekly basis. According to the new legal regulations, you will normally receive a  permit and the law does not stipulate a certain daily limit. The prerequisite is that the character as the main flat is not touched. The number of days you may rent out your main residence for a short period of time during the year can be specified in your permit on a case-by-case basis.
  • For the short-term rental of your second home you also need a permit. As a rule, however, this is granted for a maximum of 90 days per year. Furthermore, it should not be granted if you already have a main residence or another second home in Berlin.

How to get an authorization and registration number

  • You can get a permit from your district office.
  • On the website of the city of Berlin you will find the application form for a permit. *This information has been changed on August 2nd, based on new information provided by the City of Berlin on their website. Before: „You can submit the form together with your tenancy agreement or land register extract (depending on whether you are tenant or owner) and your registration certificate online.“
  • Together with your permit you will receive a registration number. This registration number must be stated in your listing from 1 August 2018 and in any form of application for your listing. On Airbnb, you will find a registration number field in your dashboard.
  • Letting of a room in one’s primary homestill does not require a permit if the rented space is less than 50% of the total space. In these cases, however, according to the website of the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, you need a free registration number from your local district office which must always be publicly visible when offering and advertising accommodation, especially on Internet portals, as of August 1.  In the opinion of Airbnb, a registration obligation in such cases does not result from the Misuse of Housing Prohibition Act. To be sure of this, you should contact your district office or seek qualified legal advice.





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Where can I find more information about hosting in Berlin?

On the Responsible Hosting of Airbnb you will find a lot of helpful information and links on what you should consider as a host in Germany and your city (e.g. on city tax).

We expressly point out that the above information makes no claim to completeness and correctness and we advise you in your individual cases to contact the your competent district office  or a respectively qualified lawyer.

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