This article provides specific information about local laws that apply to people who host their homes in Berlin. Just like our country article for Germany, it’s your responsibility to verify and comply with any obligations that apply to you as a host. This article can serve as a starting point or place you can come back to if you have questions but it isn’t exhaustive and it doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice. It’s a good idea to check to make sure laws and procedures are current.
Some of the laws that might affect you are complicated. Contact the City of Berlin directly or consult a local advisor, such as an attorney or tax professional, if you have questions.
Check Airbnb Citizen to learn more about legal updates for hosts of short-term rentals in Berlin.
Short-term rental regulations
Berlin’s Zweckentfremdungsverbotsgesetz (ZwVbG) is an act that prohibits the use of living spaces for unauthorized purposes and governs the use of residential property. The act, revised on May 1, 2018, explicitly addresses home-sharing, including short-term rentals in Berlin.
Private room rentals
According to the ZwVbG, a permit isn’t required for renting a room in your main residence, provided that the share of this room is less than 50% of the total size of your residence. In these cases, according to an ordinance that prohibits the use of living spaces for unauthorized purposes called Zweckentfremdungsverbotsverordnung (ZwVbVO) and the website of the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, hosts require a free-of-charge notification to obtain a registration number from the respective district office.
Display of registration number
As of August 1, 2018, the registration number must always be publicly displayed on offers, listings, and other advertisements of the living space, especially online. In Airbnb's opinion, the validity of the obligation to register in such cases appears doubtful, as it does not come from the ZwVbG but solely from the ZwVbVO. To be on the safe side in this case, you should contact your local district office or obtain qualified legal advice.
Entire residence rentals
According to the regulations, hosts are required to have a permit to rent out an entire residence on a short-term basis.
Primary residence rentals
The act says that private individuals are generally entitled to a permit which allows them to rent out their primary residence on a short-term basis. The act doesn’t specify a limit for how many days someone can rent their entire primary residence to guests.
Secondary residence rentals
Hosts can apply for a permit with their district office that allows them to rent out a secondary residence for up to 90 days per year. The host will receive a registration number that accompanies their permit.
Display of registration number
As of August 1, 2018, hosts are required to display the registration number on any advertisement or listing that falls in the scope of the ZwVbG.
The regulations in ZwVbG and ZwVbVO solely apply to residential spaces. Commercial spaces and other non-residential spaces don’t require the permits or registrations under the ZwVbG and ZwVbO. However,other restrictions and regulations might apply in these cases.
Hosts can find answers to common questions about short-term rentals in Berlin on the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing website. You can also check the overview of short-term rental rules in Berlin on the City’s website. Your district authority should be able to provide more information if you have questions about the law or registration process:
Overnight Accommodation Tax
In 2013, the Overnight Accommodation Tax Act was implemented to levy taxes on expenses related to for-profit overnight accommodation in Berlin in an accommodation facility. Check the State of Berlin’s official leaflet for an overview of the Overnight Accommodation Tax or the City’s dedicated page.