Since the housing law came into force in Berlin, home sharing is now explicitly recognized. Below is 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 live permanently or temporarily in the apartment and are registered there.
Who doesn't 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, you don't need a permit. In these cases, according to an ordinance that prohibits the use of living spaces for unauthorized purposes called Zweckentfremdungsverbotsverordnung (ZwVbVO) and the website of the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, hosts require a free-of-charge notification to obtain a registration number from the respective district office. In Airbnb's opinion, the validity of the obligation to register in such cases appears doubtful, as it does not come from the ZwVbG but solely from the ZwVbVO. To be on the safe side in this case, you should contact your local district office or obtain qualified legal advice
- If you rent out your main or second home for a long time (ex: for several months at a time), you don't 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 numerous court proceedings pending in which, among other things, it is still being clarified whether other 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, ex: 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. 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.
- Along with your permit, you will receive a registration number. This registration number must be stated in your Airbnb listing (beginning 1 August 2018), and in any form of application for your listing. On Airbnb, you will find the registration number field in your hosting dashboard.
Share your experience with the registration process with Airbnb
If you already have experience with the permit/registration process or have questions about it, please share it with us. Feel free to send us an email: email@example.com
More info about hosting in Berlin
In the Responsible Hosting in Germany article you will find a lot of helpful info and links on what you should consider as a host in Germany and your city (ex: more about the city tax).
Note: The information above makes no claim to completeness and correctness and we advise you to contact the your district office or a respectively qualified lawyer for personalized advice.