As more apartment residents turn to rental sites like Airbnb and Homeaway to make a quick buck, the multifamily industry is getting a little annoyed. Allowing residents to make money off of your unit get a bit contentious. A few firms are trying to find ways to work with the sites to make the strategy profitable, but not much as happened as of yet.
Now, Berlin has become the first major city to ban listing apartments on the vacation rental sites, with the laws taking effect on Saturday, May 1st. For building owners, it means less security concerns in their communities - it also rules out the potential for them to make a quick buck off the new business strategy.
The penalty for breaking the law is a substantial €100,000 ($113,000) fine — levied on people renting their homes, never on the guests themselves. There will still be some loopholes that allow a few vacation apartments to persist, but it seems that, in Berlin at least, the astronomical rise of Airbnb and other short-stay rental sites is effectively over.
The new laws still don’t mean all Berlin homestays will disappear overnight. People will still be able to rent out rooms in their homes, as long as the rooms don’t cover more than 50 percent of the property’s floor space. Landlords will also be able to apply for official permits to rent out entire apartments short-term from the local borough.
Could similar laws hit tourist cities in the U.S.?