Back in 2014, Berlin passed a law saying that residents could no longer rent out their whole apartment on Airbnb in Berlin. On Sunday, that law finally came into effect – meaning that anyone listing their property for temporary rental online via sites like Airbnb, Wimdu and 9Flats could face charges up to 100,000 Euros, according to Kombini.
The changes in Berlin may affect your trip if you're planning on visiting any time soon, but while you can't rent out a whole apartment or house, you're still allowed to rent out a room via Airbnb. So, why the change in policy? Authorities claim it's to curb the number of multiple home owners profiting on renting out empty homes in the city; online private rental services are driving up rent prices, while locals are struggling to find affordable housing, Berlin's Head of Urban Development described the law as “a necessary and sensible instrument against the housing shortage in Berlin." In a quote given to the Guardian, he continued: "I am absolutely determined to return such misappropriated apartments to the people of Berlin and to newcomers." Similar concerns have been expressed over Airbnb rentals in London. A report by VICE back in February this year suggested that, as of September 2015, there were a staggering 4,680 listings in the capital for "entire homes or apartments, frequently booked and with high availability all year round." The report questioned the morality of keeping 4,680 properties from the long-term rental market during a housing crisis – and pointed out that the practice violates housing regulation laws here in the UK. These concerns could lead to a similar law to Berlin's being passed in London in the future. However, now that travellers are so accustomed to using sites like Airbnb to book their accommodation abroad, there is an argument to be made that a ban like Berlin's could negatively affect the local tourism industry. That, or people will just start forking out for hotels again.