Bans on homesharing won’t redress Berlin’s housing shortage

4 May 2016

A law banning short-term apartment rentals just came into force in Berlin. The measure, which was passed in 2014 but only entered into force on 1 May, is aimed at releasing housing for Berliners. In the words of Andreas Geise, the city’s head of urban development, the law is “a necessary and sensible instrument against the housing shortage in Berlin.”

In fact, the ban will do little to bring about more – and more affordable – dwellings for local residents. All it will achieve is to prevent homeowners from making an income by letting their properties to people looking for cheap temporary accommodation. In short, it will make some people worse off while failing to make anybody else better off.

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