On Labour day, 12,000 refugees can go homeless in Berlin

A new law starting on May 1 in Berlin to curb on holiday rentals like Airbnb can lead to thousands of refugees going homeless overnight

Berlin, a city already facing a housing crunch is introducing a new law from 1st May banning unregistered holiday apartments. Over the past years, many landlords have taken advantage of the idea of holiday rentals like Airbnb to rent their space for making a profit. However, this arrangement unexpectedly helped thousands of refugees to have a shelter as many Berliners converted their houses into rental apartments.

However, with the new law, refugees already, in dire straights might end up in streets. After the law comes into force, house owners will have to apply for special permits to rent their apartments out, or face fines of up to 100,000 euros. Renting out single rooms is still allowed, provided the landlord also lives in the apartment and that may save some from going homeless.

Berlin has a shortfall of about 100,000 housing units and this step will bring back about 6000 apartments back into the rental market; most of which were used as rentals for holiday homes like Airbnb.

Featured image: Leif Hinrichsen/Flickr photos/Creative commons attribute


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