In 2012, Jan bought and renovated a condo in Hamburg’s Schanzenviertel. At the time, Hamburg was the center of his private and professional life. This changed in 2014 when he had to be in Osnabrück a few days a week due for work. It was during this time that he also met his partner and decided to rent out his apartment in Hamburg via Airbnb on those days when he was not there himself. Home sharing helps him handle the high financial burden of paying for two residences, which he can only partially offset against tax.
Jan would like Hamburg’s policymakers to better understand that the ways people live and work in today’s mobile world can vary considerably. As he sees it, Hamburg’s new 56-day cap on short-term rentals of one’s home does not reflect the way in which people like him live and work nowadays:
“I am very disappointed with the new regulations that have been passed in Hamburg. In my case, the law doesn’t make sense because I’m not keeping anyone from getting housing by sharing my home. I live in my flat here more than half the week and I might want to move back to Hamburg full-time in the future. Why should my property be empty when I am temporarily on the road either for business or pleasure? The city also collects taxes on my home sharing income. It is incomprehensible that so much bureaucratic hassle is being created for something that benefits all of us.”
Jan is very disappointed by the city’s policymakers and cannot understand that fines are threatened if information about his guests is not forwarded to the city by no later than 10 days after their stay. This is an additional burden for homesharers that he finds disproportionate.
Jan has had great experiences with homesharing. So far, all of his guests have been very respectful and have always treated his apartment as he would. He has also had the chance to meet many nice people from all corners of the world:
“The great thing about hosting is that you can show guests your Hamburg. I recommend restaurants, cafés, and small shops in the neighborhood and other things that they can do around here. Hotels cannot offer this kind of authentic and personal experience.”