A New Chapter for Home Sharing in Germany

Back in 2013, the City of Hamburg was the first in the world to introduce clear and simple home sharing rules. As the local population was growing faster than housing space was being created, city officials needed to take steps to ensure that Hamburg remained affordable for local residents. They introduced a new law that said local residents can share their homes, and in the past year, more than 5,000 Hamburg residents have shared their homes to help pay their bills.

Policymakers across the world have since followed the lead of German officials and introduced clear and simple home sharing rules, including London, France, Amsterdam, Milan, Portugal and many US cities and states. Home sharing is transforming these places, providing an economic lifeline for countless families and communities, supporting local businesses and attracting new guests who want authentic and local travel experiences.

However, there are parts of the country where it’s not as easy for local residents to share their homes.

In 2014, new confusing rules that govern housing were introduced in Berlin. While it’s unclear how the new rules apply in the case of home sharing, the former president of Berlin’s constitutional court described the law as “flawed and ill-conceived”. He said: “It is also unreasonable that the new law limits the constitutionally guaranteed trust in hosts to use their properties as they see fit.”

Today, we want to start a new chapter in Germany. We want to work together with policymakers across the country on clear and simple rules to support local residents who share their homes to pay the bills, and make a renewed pledge to be good partners to policymakers.

We want to start this new chapter by releasing new data about our community in Germany. As we move forwards, we’ll continue to provide policymakers with the information they need to understand home sharing and the Airbnb community. We hope this information will be the foundation of new conversations with policymakers on how we can work together to support regular Germans who share their homes to pay the bills.

Airbnb attracts new guests to Germany and boosts the economy.

  • In 2015, more than 1.5 million guests used Airbnb to visit Germany.
  • We estimate the annual total economic impact of our community in Berlin to be more than €467 million.

Airbnb is an economic lifeline for thousands of ordinary Germans, providing additional income to help pay the bills and afford basic living costs.

  • In 2015, almost 58,000 Germans shared their homes with guests from around the world.
  • The typical Airbnb host in Germany earned €1,800 in 2015 by sharing their space.

Germans welcome Airbnb and use it to explore the world.

  • In 2015, almost 2.5 million German resident guests used Airbnb to explore the world.
  • A quarter of all trips by German residents are within Germany.
  • More than 80 percent of all trips by German guests are within Europe.

These figures clearly show the positive impact of the Airbnb community in Germany – but we also understand there are housing shortages in some parts of Germany. This is a complex problem that has existed for many years – long before Airbnb – and it’s something we take seriously. We want to help people stay in their homes – in fact, that’s how Airbnb started.

While experts believe Airbnb doesn’t have a negative impact on the availability of housing in Germany, we want to make a renewed pledge to policymakers across the country to support them on this important issue. We care deeply about Germany, and over the coming months we’ll be doubling our efforts to educate our hosts and make it clear that we are not the platform for property managers.

Our focus is on local German residents in real homes – that’s what traveling on Airbnb is all about.

Most importantly, we want to work together. We want Airbnb and home sharing to be regulated in a smart way. That’s why we’re being proactive and why we want to work together on progressive, commonsense policies for the future.

In November, we released our Community Compact with three core commitments to ensure home sharing makes communities stronger. We pledged to:

  • Treat every city personally and help ensure our community pays its fair share of hotel and tourist taxes.
  • Build an Open and Transparent Community
  • Promote Responsible Home Sharing To Make Cities Stronger

In the coming months, we’ll be working hard to make good on these promises in Germany. We know the Airbnb community is bringing tremendous benefits to local communities across the country, and we want to collaborate with everyone on progressive home sharing rules to support them.