Crocodilian Blog

The Temporary Rental Blog from Berlin

Is temporary letting still allowed in Berlin?

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Renting out vacation apartments in Berlin is now forbidden. The prohibition of incorrect use, the so called “Zweckentfremdungsgesetz” forbids the conversion of living space into vacation apartments. There are very few exceptions.
Many landlords who want to offer or offer furnished apartments on a temporary basis are confused. Is temporary letting allowed, and if so, on what conditions?

Is the temporary Letting of furnished Apartments also affected by the “Zweckentfremdungsgesetz”?

The target group for temporary accommodation is no longer tourists, but persons who come to Berlin to work here. Ten thousand people from Germany and abroad move to Berlin every year to work here.
The housing market in Berlin is tense and it is not always easy to find affordable housing. It is even more difficult, however, if you are not in the city to do your own search.
New Berliners, moving to Berlin to work either temporarily or longer term, often first rent furnished apartments until either their employment in Berlin is over or they have found their own apartment.
These apartments, which are rented out for a certain period of time, are not removed from the normal residential market. If they did not rent for a certain period of time, they would also compete with the many apartment seekers for the already tight living space. And it’s precisely this group of people who would find it hard to find their own housing: not in Berlin and with no Schufa history.

For temporary accommodation, the prohibition of incorrect use of property is not valid, provided the landlord rents to tenants coming to Berlin for work. The tenant must also rent for at least 2 months and have legal residence in Berlin during this time. The fact that the tenant is working here should also be certified by the landlord in writing.

Vacation accommodation vs. temporary housing – what’s the difference?

Is it possible to offer former vacation accommodation as furnished temporary housing?

In theory, yes. However, renting out temporary housing is a completely different business model and the apartments are differently equipped. For temporary housing, the law does not apply if the landlord rented to tenants who come to Berlin to work here. The fact that the tenant works here should also be certified by the landlord.

Vacation Accommodation:

  • target group is tourists who will rent for a few days or weeks
  • basic furnishings okay
  • has many beds: target group is families, groups, etc.
  • easy to clean, convenient, less comfort: tourists spend time out of the house
  • prices indicated per night, higher than a normal rental, but cheaper than a hotel on the number of persons counted, expensive when projected over a month
  • is subject to the prohibition of incorrect use, unless special authorization is obtained

Temporary Housing:

  • target group is working people
  • price is indicated per month
  • affordable for normal earners: in competition with other temporary housing, not with hotels
  • higher-quality furnished, more comfortable, a temporary home
  • usually for 1-2 people, it is not very useful to rent a 60m² apartment to 4 people for 6 months
  • comfortable, light cleaning also important, but carpets etc. are available
  • not subject to the prohibition of incorrect use of property, as long as the tenant works in Berlin and rents for at least 2 months

Is there still a need for temporary housing in Berlin?

Yes. Good apartments in good locations, not overpriced, good, stylish and furnished with attention to detail always rent out.

However, there has been an oversupply since the act on the prohibition of incorrect use of property and the prohibition of vacation accommodation came into law. Many landlords who formerly earned a lot of money with vacation rental now offer these apartments as furnished temporary housing, often on vacation accommodation standard and at non-market-related prices.

When should a Landlord rent out temporary Housing?

Of course, every landlord has an interest in setting the highest possible rent. However, renting out temporary accommodation is not a big money spinner. The standard rental rate does not apply to temporary renting but it is not advisable to use it anyway. At least not if you want to rent out your apartment permanently to good tenants. For landlords, flexibility should be a priority.
As previously mentioned, employed people who earn their money in Berlin are the target group for temporary renting. Of course, it is also rented by production companies for actors who work in Berlin, CEOs, or people who can afford everything. However, this group of persons also has claims. And not every apartment falls into the luxury segment. For apartments in the top price bracket, it is also unlikely that these will be fully rented. For this reason, we recommend that the rental tariff be calculated in such a way that the apartment is rented throughout the entire year.

It’s also important for the landlord to pay attention to the furnishing. Placing a bed, a wardrobe and a desk in an apartment is simply no longer good enough. The atmosphere and the feel-good factor are also important.

Conclusion:

The act on the prohibition of incorrect use of property applies to apartments that are rented to tourists on a daily or weekly basis. Not for temporary housing, however, if the furnished apartment is let to tenants coming to Berlin to work here. The minimum rental period is 2 months.
As a rule, furnished temporary housing is usually more carefully furnished than vacation accommodation. For temporary housing, it is no longer enough to place a bed, a wardrobe and a desk in the apartment. Landlords have to deal with the subject of furniture, because location and atmosphere are important factors for good rentability.

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