Airbnb urges housing reform in Berlin after court overturns permit rejection

TechCrunch | 9/8/2017 | Natasha Lomas
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Airbnb is celebrating a partial win over a housing law change in Berlin that last year led to a total clampdown on the short term renting of entire homes to visitors to the city. City authorities had couched the move as a necessary measure to tackle housing shortages affecting locals.

While there has been no formal law change, as yet, the latest development blows in a favorable direction for Airbnb.

Challenge - Living - Berlin - District - Pankow

It pertains to a legal challenge brought by a private individual living in the Berlin district of Pankow against the State of Berlin in the Berlin Administrative Court after he was rejected a permit to rent his own home — a measure city authorities have been using to essentially control the use of home-sharing platforms like Airbnb.

The court recommended he be granted a permit to be able to rent his home for short term tourist rentals for 182 days per year — overturning the earlier rejection of authorization on the grounds that a public interest in the preservation of housing does not exist if the premises are already being used for residential purposes.

Press - Release - Outcome - Law - Firm

In a press release detailing the outcome, the law firm involved in the case interprets the decision as generalized — suggesting other Berliners could take similar action to seek to overturn other permit rejections, and expect to also be granted leave to rent their homes for up to 182 days. Hence Airbnb couching this as a win.

Although, in reality, there are still some big barriers to Berliners wanting to rent whole apartments on Airbnb given it appears they would likely have to fight reluctant city authorities in court in order to obtain authorization (without which they risk of a fine of up to €100,000).

Airbnb - Court - Decision - Crack - Berlin

Still, Airbnb is clearly hoping the court decision ends up opening a sizable crack in Berlin’s regulatory...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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