Planning a trip to Berlin? If you are, finding a cheap stay with Airbnb just got a lot harder thanks to a new Berlin law that went into effect on May 1.
The German capital passed the “Zweckentfremdungsverbot” law, which, besides being a mouthful to say, is meant to stop people from putting up their entire apartment or house on sites like Airbnb. Leasing out individual rooms is still allowed though.
Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s head of urban development, defended the new policy by stating that it is “a necessary and sensible instrument against the housing shortage in Berlin”.
Some investors have taken advantage of the city’s popularity and found that it was more profitable to rent out apartments to tourists instead of long-term tenants.
Now, anyone caught renting out more than a room can face a fine of 100,000 euros ($113,000), and the city is hoping to find those breaking the law by asking residents to rat out their neighbors.
Quite a few users will be affected by this change, as in the month leading up to the new law, Airbnb saw listings in Berlin drop by 40 percent.