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Berlin Is Banning Most Vacation Apartment Rentals

The number of Airbnb listings dropped 40 percent in a month as the city prepares for new laws to take effect.
House in Kreuzberg, Berlin, a popular area for vacation apartments
House in Kreuzberg, Berlin, a popular area for vacation apartmentsOnnola/Flickr

Looking to rent an apartment on your next vacation to Berlin? Starting Sunday, you can basically forget about it. From May 1, Germany’s capital is banning landlords from renting out apartments to short-term visitors, with only a few exceptions permitted.

The penalty for breaking the law is a substantial €100,000 ($113,000) fine — levied on people renting their homes, never on the guests themselves. There will still be some loopholes that allow a few vacation apartments to persist, but it seems that, in Berlin at least, the astronomical rise of Airbnb and other short-stay rental sites is effectively over.