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Industry welcomes Berlin's latest Airbnb ruling

A recent court ruling in Berlin has been welcomed by landlords and letting agents with properties in the German capital.

Last week, a court ruled that if they are living in their primary residence, people with second homes in Berlin will be able to let to tourists.

At the beginning of May the city imposed a blanket ban on Airbnb-style short-term lets to try and tame rising rents and free up housing stock for locals.


A number of people with second homes in Berlin subsequently complained about the ruling, claiming that it was unfair to prohibit them from letting their property because they had not purchased it solely as a buy-to-let investment.

Last week the court overturned part of the ban, ruling that letting a second home – which would otherwise be left empty – does not reduce living space in the city. 

According to reports, many landlords and investors have been flouting the ban, continuing to advertise properties on Airbnb and similar sites, despite risking a fine of up to €100,000. 

One estate agency, Black Label Properties, has welcomed the latest ruling. 

"The new court ruling appears to get the balance right between the city authority's attempts to reduce the number of properties being purchased simply to rent out to tourists and second home owners who want to create a small income from their properties when they are not using them,” says Clive Gross, the firm's UK-based relocations consultant.

As well as the ban on short-term lets – which is similar to a measure introduced in Barcelona – Berlin has sought to control its rental market by introducing a cap on rental increases 10% more than the local average. 

“We support measures that help keep our city affordable and diverse – that is one of the main reasons Berlin is so popular and so many people decide to move here each year,” adds Achim Amann, co-owner of Black Label. 

“Unlike many other major European capital cities though, Berlin still has a huge amount of brownfield land suitable for development, and we work with many developers who are seeking to bring this type of land back into use.”


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