AirBnB legality in Berlin

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Hey All, 

 

Can you please let know what the new law regarding AirBnB in Germany is? I hear it may be banned in Germany now but I was not sure. Any assistance would be appreciated. 

 

Thanks in advance!

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I dont know all the details, but for the city of berlin the may law concerns zweckentfremdung, and I think it only applies if the normal long-term tenant of the apartment is NOT using/present at the property in parallel to the airbnb guests staying there.

 

In other words completely giving up the apartment to an airbnb client is not allowed. Only giving up a portion of the apartment is allowed while the normal tenant stays there.

 

Im not sure how you/berlin can police that though.

 

On top of that the usual rules apply i.e. only with express permission of the landlord, and declaring income to the tax authorities.

 

Im guessing probably the tv broadcasting fee people will already be thinking up some ways to get a slice of the action too.

 

Theres also something like a tourist tax for overnight stays in a lot of countries e.g. switzerland, so not sure how that would apply.

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How can they enforce it??  Ha Ha, all they have to do is open AirBnB's website and search for rentals in Berlin!  Then make the booking and the bust.  Probably much easier than busting drug dealers or other criminals who do not advertise on the net.  

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I wish the government would subpoena the database records for use by tax authorities and also by Wohngenossenschaften. It is common tin rental contracts that one may not for money let out a room in one's home even for a minute without the landlord agreeing. So, not only is money being stolen there is also rampant breaking of rental contracts. 

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That we agree, they should pay income tax and as well tourist tax when it applies. But banning them completely is another thing. People are all pro Free Markets except when they do not like it.

Same with banning Uber.

It is like banning emails to protect hand written letters.

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What if you own your own flat? I own my apartment in Berlin and it is my primary residence. If I go away on vacation for a week, can I rent out the entire flat on Airbnb, if I declare the income on my taxes, or is this illegal now?

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On 5/10/2016, 8:47:27, Ruhetag said:

How can they enforce it??  Ha Ha, all they have to do is open AirBnB's website and search for rentals in Berlin!  Then make the booking and the bust.  Probably much easier than busting drug dealers or other criminals who do not advertise on the net.  

 

This is just to play devil's advocate:

 

As I understand, it is only illegal to have an apartment that you don't use as a residence and rent out the entire apartment to others.

 

What is to stop people from keeping a small room in the apartment as "their room" and then renting out the apartment. They can tell renters that their room is off limits but they would be out during the time of the renters stay.

 

Just saying... there might be ways around this if people look for them. Not saying these ways are a good thing or even legal... but a possibility. 

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In my experience the courts tend to look at what is actually happening, if people are paying for your apartment and appear to be using it "illegally" I dont think you will get far by arguing that technically its something different. 

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1 minute ago, zwiebelfisch said:

appear to be using it "illegally"

 

How about if it was reversed. 

 

If you actually did live there and had a room and then rented out your apartment to share with others and then stayed with a friend those weekends. Then what you are doing would be totally legal but no different from the above situation. 

 

Just think that this might be harder to enforce for those that want to rent out their apartment or extra apartment. 

 

Another example.

 

A couple gets serious and one pretty much moves into the others apartment. The one that moved out still has own apartment but doesn't stay there very often. Could they rent that apartment on sites like AirBnB?

 

Again, Im not an expert and I know the reason behind the law is to help with the "Berlin Housing Crisis" which does seem to be a problem. Just not exactly sure if this is the solution or if the city needs to look into building more housing.

 

 

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If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

 

None of this stuff is certain, it depends what the courts decide, but generally they dont have patience for people that are obviously abusing the system.  If there is obviously a main tennant living there, has a room with a bed, clothes, toothbrush in the bathroom etc and they stay overnight regularly then its probabaly cool.  If you move your stuff out and just leave your name on the bell then probably not.  But you need to try it, get taken to court and see what the ruling is if you want to be sure.  Im not making light of it, thats just the way the law is, you never really know until a court decides.

 

If I had to bet, Id say they will send warnings to everyone advertising on AirBnB and drop the cases of anyone who sends a convincing reply.  But my guess is as good as yours.

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15 hours ago, fuze said:

Again, Im not an expert and I know the reason behind the law is to help with the "Berlin Housing Crisis" which does seem to be a problem. Just not exactly sure if this is the solution or if the city needs to look into building more housing.

 

The reason behind the law is the lobby the hotel industry has been doing because they are unhappy with the current situation.  You know, free markets for this but no free markets for that.

 

The "Berlin Housing Crisis" is caused because a bunch of people moved to the city and most of them want to live in the same 4 districts.  So basic law of economics say the prices will rise in those areas.

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On 12 May 2016 at 08:26:24, philip_berlin said:

What if you own your own flat? I own my apartment in Berlin and it is my primary residence. If I go away on vacation for a week, can I rent out the entire flat on Airbnb, if I declare the income on my taxes, or is this illegal now?

 

The FAQ I read used exactly this scenario as an "allowed" example. The main idea is that the person who rents can be "thrown out" only by the owner.

 

That actually shows one of the ways to enforce the law: suppose the owner attempts to rent a flat, short-term, in which he is not registered, short-term, then my understanding is that the tenant can simply refuse to move out and create lots of headaches while this is sorted out (the owner won't be able to get any further payment, because the contract was illegal, and it will be hard to make the tenant move out).

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I know that the hotel industry is behind this law but I also believe that people don't want strangers coming in and out of their buildings all the time. I wouldn't like it if my neighbor had different people in his/her flat every week with keys to the house. Nobody would.

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3 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I know that the hotel industry is behind this law but I also believe that people don't want strangers coming in and out of their buildings all the time. I wouldn't like it if my neighbor had different people in his/her flat every week with keys to the house. Nobody would.

 

Also, we have laws for hotels needing fire escapes, disabled access, insurance etc for a reason.  I know its fashionable to say all that stuff doesnt matter but society has learned through history of people burning to death or excluding people that cant use stairs that these laws are apparently necessary. 

 

I do wonder how long it will be before an AirBnB landlord will be discovered to have hidden cameras all over the bathroom and bedroom and people start crying out for regulation.

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25 minutes ago, zwiebelfisch said:

 

Also, we have laws for hotels needing fire escapes, disabled access, insurance etc for a reason.  I know its fashionable to say all that stuff doesnt matter but society has learned through history of people burning to death or excluding people that cant use stairs that these laws are apparently necessary. 

 

I hope the laws regarding fire safety protect us, humble apartment-dwellers, as well :)

 

25 minutes ago, zwiebelfisch said:

I do wonder how long it will be before an AirBnB landlord will be discovered to have hidden cameras all over the bathroom and bedroom and people start crying out for regulation.

 

The woman, who stayed at an Irvine, CA, Airbnb rental in December 2013, filed a lawsuit

https://consumerist.com/2015/12/16/woman-sues-airbnb-homeowners-after-finding-hidden-camera-in-residence/

 

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2 minutes ago, ilyann said:

 

I hope the laws regarding fire safety protect us, humble apartment-dwellers, as well :)

 

Yes, in theory they should.  But if its a place you rent it is more reasonable to expect you to buy your own fire alarm, fire extinguishers, check they work etc.  Yes, I know very few people do, but you *could* do, for a hotel or rental you expect your provider to make the place safe.  I know my water heater has been checked for carbon monoxide, who is looking out for my safety in an AirBnB? 

 

Its not that I am anti AirBnB, Im kind of ambivalent, but I think the hotels have a point.  They have to follow all kinds of rules, and the AirBnB people offering the same service dont.  Anyone that is cool with the current rules would also be cool with hotels not having fire safety checks, not needing a fire escape, not needing insurance, not having any accessability obligations, right?

 

7 minutes ago, ilyann said:

The woman, who stayed at an Irvine, CA, Airbnb rental in December 2013, filed a lawsuit

https://consumerist.com/2015/12/16/woman-sues-airbnb-homeowners-after-finding-hidden-camera-in-residence/

 

 

Right, and just like when people get raped by unchecked Uber drivers, sooner or later they will start saying that background checks etc should be required.

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On 5/12/2016, 5:06:40, zwiebelfisch said:

 

If I had to bet, Id say they will send warnings to everyone advertising on AirBnB and drop the cases of anyone who sends a convincing reply.  But my guess is as good as yours.

Strictly technically speaking, property owners have already enjoyed a two-year grace period as the law against reappropriating entire apartments was passed that long ago and landlords warned to figure out their shit in the ensuing 24 month period. No idea what explicit warning, if any, has been given to those who have purchased in the interim, although one would think it was on them to inform themselves before they buy.

 

On 5/13/2016, 8:07:59, Krieg said:

 

 

The "Berlin Housing Crisis" is caused because a bunch of people moved to the city and most of them want to live in the same 4 districts.  So basic law of economics say the prices will rise in those areas.

Not arguing with you here, but for sure foreign investors have for years, with a sharp increase since 2008, been buying up entire blocks of formerly affordable inner-city housing with the express purpose of renting or leasing out the spaces both residential and commercial.

 

21 hours ago, zwiebelfisch said:

... society has learned through history of people burning to death or excluding people that cant use stairs that these laws are apparently necessary. 

 

[pedant] actually, most people die from asphyxiation/smoke inhalation before they get the chance to burn to death (you probably knew that though heh)

[/pedant]

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I was chatting with a friend about this last night, and he said that the fine for violating this ban is 100k euro--is that correct?  Sounds rather extreme...

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AFAIK this is the maximum fine. That doesn´t mean it will be dealt out routinely.

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