Berlin’s new law prohibiting the use of housing space for vacation rentals enrages Bernd Muckenschnabel both professionally and privately.
“No other country in Europe has restrictions like these,” said the native Berliner, the supervisory board chairman for vacation-apartment specialist Novasol. “And no one is saying ‘Stop!’ ”
The restriction bans apartment owners from renting out flats to tourists without a city permit, and came into full effect on May 1 after a two-year transition period. Now anyone who violates the rule faces a €100,000, or $114,450, fine. Lawmakers hope the crackdown will quell spiking rents and a growing housing shortage in the German capital.
In the weeks leading up to the ban, online rental provider Airbnb reportedly dumped thousands of commercial apartment rental listings in Berlin to avoid potential legal ramifications. But vacation apartment owners say the new law is unfair and plan to fight it.