New regulations mean Berlin authorities will track Airbnb host listings
The holiday rental company Airbnb has announced that Berlin hosts will require a property registration number come spring 2023.
Berlin Airbnb hosts to require registration number
Airbnb has announced that from March 2023 anyone who uses the platform to advertise an apartment or room for long-term let in Berlin will require a registration number from their relevant district authority. Long-term lets must be a minimum of three months and Airbnb hosts will have to display their unique registration number alongside their listing online. The rule is designed to make it easier for authorities in Berlin to recognise unfair offers and uphold regulations for fair rental contracts.
Since 2018 the city of Berlin has required Airbnb hosts renting short-term accommodation to use a registration number on the website. Those who were letting more than half of their property also require a permit. However, Berlin authorities believe that this system has not worked effectively for years and that Airbnb does not adequately enforce these advertising rules when giving listings the green light.
Over the past few years Berlin authorities have also demanded that the San Francisco-based company share user data in order to regulate landlord misuse and collect taxes. So far, there has been no legislation introduced to legally oblige Airbnb to share such data. However, in June 2020, tax authorities in Hamburg obtained large amounts of user data, including that of Berlin Airbnb hosts, and collected 2 million euros of unpaid tax from people who rented out properties.
Airbnb lets caused Berlin rents to rise, study finds
Since 2014, the city of Berlin has attempted to impose a series of tightening regulations on Airbnb in order to minimise the billion-dollar company’s impact on Berlin’s housing crisis. The initial regulations were a reaction to the fact that rental costs in Berlin increased by 56 percent between 2009 and 2014. So far, the regulations have done little to effectively quash unaffordable rent rises for locals.
A 2021 study by the German Institute for Economic Research found that the rental costs of an apartment in Berlin increase by 13 percent if the listing is in the immediate vicinity of an Airbnb long-term let. This is because long-term Airbnb lets significantly reduce the number of available properties on the housing market in Berlin. The study found that around 10.000 apartments were rented in Berlin each month, amounting to 0,5 percent of all accommodation in the German city.
Airbnb lets also shape Berlin rental prices differently depending on which district they are in. The study found that in Mitte, Berlin’s central district, Airbnb listings in the vicinity drove up rental costs by 8 cents per square metre. In the more residential east Berlin district of Lichtenberg, costs rose by a massive 46 cents. In Neukölln, a southern Berlin district becoming increasingly gentrified and considered by tourists as a hotspot to get a whiff of cool Berlin life, Airbnb listings were raising rental costs by 10 cents per square metre.