Berlin to ban "repurposing" of living space

86 posts in this topic



Hello. I recently moved into a new apartment. I am on the ground floor and I have realised that the flat two floors up (opposite side) is being rented out -- I presume on Air BnB, cos we get an international lot of guests, though it could be any other site.


I have to say it is a pain in the @$$, because sometimes the guests even come knocking on my door (sometimes they arrive with the key, are not met, but forget which floor to go to), they come and go at all times of the night, and it means loads of people having access to the house in general who are not even residents...


First of all, I do not know if this has been okayed with the other tenants. They are a rather miserable lot and everyone seems to lead their own existence (I think another apartment may also be rented out, or belong to a firm, which puts its employers up in it). I was not informed about this when moving in (caveat emptor?), although my landlord is generally an honest person.


I have been reading up and have read that you are allowed to demand some rent compensation for the hassles. I would like to do so -- IF I have a legal case -- purely for symbolical reasons, because I feel very strongly that people should not be allowed to make money out of something that is a constant pain to others, lowering their quality of life.


But how does it work? Do I take the issue up with MY landlord (owner of my apartment), who would then take it up with the owner of the apartment being let out? Or do I take it up with the owner of the whole house? I have to say that I do not know who the house owner is. I just know there is a notice up in the building about its administration: Dieses Haus verwaltet Schreiber Immobilien /Verwaltung with an address for the "Hause anschrift".


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I hope it benefits the discussion if I add my German perspective:


Getting an affordable flat for permanent rent was difficult the last time I tried (2012).

On each appointment (to visit a flat) I was one of fifty people interested (on average).

This is about single bedroom flats, so don't assume that these 50 people are only 25 interested parties of couples.

To the contrary: often there was more than just one appointment per flat offered.


My job and other features (young, no dog, no children etc.) may have given me an advantage.

I feel sad because my fellow citizens without jobs or with dogs may have an even harder time.


It was still tough for me. I had to swallow a couple of lies and bad practices by the estate agents.

I felt like a fish among sharks - it shouldn't be this way.


In Germany, to my undestanding, the law assumes that there is an equality between offer and demand in the flat market.

So if you are offered a bad deal, you would rather chose a better deal and thus the bad deals do not generate profit.

But in the current situation, finding a bad deal is all you can hope for if you "just earn enough".


The ban may help a bit, but a real solution is needed.

I think: Much much more affordable flats have to be build.

They still generate profit, just not as much as other business models.

Berlin is huge, so there should be enough space to build them on - in contrast to e.g. San Francisco.


In my vision, there would then also be enough room for short term rented flats.

Thus the city can also use the potential of all the tourists and short term renters.


Additionally I am less curious about people staying in hotels compared to visitors in "real" flats.

For myself, hotels are horribly artificial.

The couch-surfing scene in comparison is a better dive into another culture.

I don't have experience with the holiday-flat scene, though.

But I hope they act more like couch-surfers than like hotel guests.


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How will this be enforced? Hypothetically speaking, say I rent my flat out to holiday makers and there are never any complaints from the existing neighbours etc. how will the state ever find out about it?


I have a friend who lives in a building where someone is B&B his place. He was warned, dind't listen, and as far as I know he has now being sued.


In Germany there is always someone with a bit too much time in their hands.


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Some people just don't like to see their house turned into a hotel. A question of too much time on hand or a question of respect and consideration?


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Does anyone know how this has changed since the law came into effect on May 1, 2016? What constitutes "short-term vacation rental" vs. a "regular apartment rental"? 


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