Berlin Court Provides A Small Victory For Airbnb in Berlin

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

In May, Berlin officials put into effect a controversial ban on property owners renting out their home or flat on popular services like Airbnb, but a court ruling issued on Tuesday may provide some relief to those who want to make a little extra income off of their unused properties.

Three individuals challenged the city’s ban after finding that renting out their second homes in Berlin, when they are not using them, could carry a fine of €100,000 if listed on sites like Airbnb.

Tuesday’s ruling is more of an exception to the new law for those who own second homes in Berlin and want to rent out the space to vacationers during the times of the year that the owners are living in their primary home.

Berlin was motivated to create the ban out of concerns that rental sites were reducing the available housing in the city, but in this specific case, the court decided that renting out a second home doesn’t make a difference in availability.

The ruling does not reverse the ban all together as the decision only requests that area officials make an exception for the three individuals that brought on the case. While it does pave the way for more exceptions, there doesn’t appear to be a clear option, as of yet, for others to become exempt from the law.

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Sources:, The Local

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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