Berlin places restrictions on Airbnb?

Berlin Wall

It was Oliver who first alerted me to the new rule Berlin has just applied to Airbnb.

 apply. When what exceptions are possible, is still unclear.

Some friends on Facebook (my fb is public, so its readable/findable) added some comments to my kind of retweet from talking with Oliver.

Jennifer wrote: There are so few affordable flats available for people who actually live here. The Airbnb market has affected the available rentals so much here that it’s driven prices up, and it’s a nightmare.

Helen wrote: There are similar restrictions in Barcelona. You need a licence to rent rooms or apartments but the local government is not issuing new licences. Same rationale…lack of affordable housing, makes for unpleasant living when your neighbouring apartments are all on short lets, changing the culture of neighbourhoods. That said, there’s no shortage of rentals in Barcelona on AirBnB and elsewhere. Fines are being issued but not widespread yet.

As someone who does Airbnb at my own flat, I think there should be a difference between a spare room and a whole place. I do have everything legally needed including smoke alarms, exit signs and fire extinguisher but it feels like there should be slight difference. I understand the concerns and the damage of short term lets on a community. Some apartment blocks have banned Airbnb in Manchester for example. But if you are there too, its no real different than having a short term lodger? I guess there is an argument about how you prove you are there, but thats a different arguement.

Its a shame its come to this but alas thats what happens when you let market forces run out of control?

Little chance of a cheap Airbnb for Berlin now, I thought but theres still quite a lot on Airbnb still… We shall see what happens in May.

Author: cubicgarden

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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