Good news in Berlin: New laws expressly recognize home sharing

With the vote in the Berlin House of Representatives on 22 March 2018 on the misappropriation law (Zweckentfremdungsverbots-Gesetz), the State of Berlin expressly recognized home sharing and adopted new rules to support regular people who want to share their homes when they are travelling.

This is great news for home sharers as it marks a turnaround away from extremely strict rules in Berlin that did not differentiate between regular people and professional operators.

Regular Berliners who occasionally want to rent out their entire home to travelers when they are on business or private trips will soon be entitled to authorisation for repeated short-term rentals of their homes. This is now clearly defined as regular use case in the new law. The Berlin Administrative Court had confirmed in several rulings and indications that Berliners may rent out their entire homes up to 182 days a year or more because they do not take away any housing from the market. However, the previous law did not explicitly regulate this.

Alexander Schwarz, Managing Director of Airbnb Germany:

“Airbnb welcomes the fact that the city of Berlin now expressly recognizes home sharing and allows regular Berliners to share their homes with travelers. We want to continue our constructive exchange with the city of Berlin and work to ensure that the approval procedure is now unbureaucratic, i.e. above all swift and citizen-friendly”.

The new regulations will come into force on 1 May 2018 and regulate the occasional sharing of primary homes as well as secondary homes, which in future can be rented for a total of 90 days a year with a permit.

However, in order for the new regulations to have the desired positive effect, the permit procedure must minimise the bureaucratic workload for citizens and administrations. These allowances must be issued as quickly as possible after application to ensure home sharers and Berlin are able to benefit immediately from this clear guidance.

Airbnb has worked with more than 400 governments around the world on fair home sharing rules that make it easier for hosts to follow the rules and share their homes responsibly. Airbnb has also worked with more than 340 jurisdictions around the world to collect and remit tourist taxes, including Dortmund and communities in France and Switzerland, making it easier for hosts to pay their fair share.