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article imageBerlin bans entire apartment rentals on Airbnb

By Owen Weldon     May 3, 2016 in Business
Berlin - As of May, people in Berlin can face up to a fine of $115,000 if they rent out their full apartments on Airbnb under a new law.
The law is aimed at curbing rising housing prices. The law was passed in 2014, but it just went into effect a few days ago.
Homeowners can still use Airbnb to rent out individual rooms, but renting out an entire house or apartment is now forbidden.
Berlin's head of urban development, Andreas Geisel, said the law was necessary in order to keep housing affordable. Between 2009 and 2014, rent in Berlin has increased by 56 percent. Officials have said Airbnb has helped people in Berlin use their apartments solely for short-term rentals, and this has exacerbated the housing shortage in the city.
However, hundreds of rentals are still being offered on Airbnb and other similar sites. The Local searched for an entire apartment to rent in Berlin and Airbnb returned hundreds of results.
Martin Pallgen, a spokesman for the Berlin building authority, said the rules were clear and individual districts will now have to take action.
Berlin's move follows other similar actions taken by governments around the world, including Barcelona, where Airbnb was hit with a fine. The fine was for breaching laws that required flats being rented to tourists to be listed on a regional registry.
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