Travelers who want to rent out a room or an entire apartment as accommodation on the Airbnb platform need a registration number in Berlin. This has been the case for a long time. Now, the company controls the renters more strictly.
Originally, Airbnb did not ask for the registration number at all. It was only last year that it had to be provided for new listings of Airbnb accommodation. Airbnb has announced that the number has to be submitted by March 2023 for all short-term bookings of previously advertised properties – which cannot be rented for more than three months at a time. "Otherwise, the accommodations will be deactivated," announced Airbnb's official.
The move is unusual for the Silicon Valley company, founded in 2008, because requesting the number could mean that some hosts may leave Airbnb at all. Applying for the number is complicated, and not all hosts will receive the approval.
In order to obtain the registration number in Berlin, if you want to rent out more than 49 percent of your living space, you must submit a written application to the district office responsible for it. In addition to an application form and a justification, i.e., an explanation of why you want to rent out the living space, you must also submit the rental or sublease agreement as well as a declaration of consent from the landlord.
It could be difficult for hosts to get this, as many landlords reject marketing via portals such as Airbnb as a matter of principle in the rental contracts.
Airbnb stated that the platform made the decision to participate in responsible tourism in Berlin. "This should be a constructive step forward for us". The company has long complained about the complicated, analogue application process for its registration number in Berlin. In Hamburg, the process was digitized in 2018. There, one can apply for the permit online via a link. "That's what we'd like to see in Berlin, too," stated Airbnb.
Against rising energy prices and inflation, Airbnb says more people are taking advantage of the opportunity to rent out their own homes to supplement their living costs. The company is therefore possibly expecting even more hosts in the coming months. Airbnb receives a commission of around three percent of the accommodation price from hosts and 14 percent from guests.
The Senate Department for Urban Development, Construction and Housing is not very impressed. A spokeswoman wrote: "We expect that Airbnb will now make the requirements of the law mandatory for its users, thus ensuring that the users, behave in accordance with the law."