Owner Responsibilities in Germany

Owner Responsibilities

If you want to rent out your holiday apartment or holiday home to guests, it is important
to be familiar with the local legal requirements. You are best seeking information from your town or municipal administration about regulations that affect you as an owner.

In order to support you, we have put together some information for you. This information is
not, however, legally binding. We also emphasise that we accept no liability for the correctness, completeness or currentness of the content presented here.

The renting of holiday apartments or holiday homes is, in part, subject to different requirements and laws which must be observed. These may be valid for the whole of Germany or differ depending on federal state, city or local authority.

This includes, among other things, building and noise control laws, property and tenancy law, misappropriation statutes, or tax and trade regulations.

The effects of these regulations for you as an owner can be manifold.

Particularly in large cities, holiday apartments are discussed on a variety of levels. On
the one hand, many city vacationers are happy about the numerous holiday
apartments, which are offered to an affordable price in the city centre. On the
other hand, there is a shortage of affordable housing space in some cities. For
this reason, several municipalities have made the misappropriation of housing
space subject to authorisation. You can find out from the respective
authorities whether you need an authorisation for the short-term rental of your
housing space. A corresponding application is generally to be completed. Below
you will find some helpful links for some of the largest German cities with
misappropriation bans. We would like to point out that this list is not
exhaustive; additional legal provisions may apply to the whole of Germany as
well as to one or more states or municipalities.

Baden-Württemberg:

In Baden-Württemberg, the Law Prohibiting the Misappropriation
of Residential Space
has been in place since 2013 and was last tightened at the beginning of 2021. In particular, renting out living space for tourist accommodation for more than
ten weeks a year is considered as misappropriation for which a permit is
required.

Further information on the individual municipal regulations in Baden-Württemberg can be
found via the following links:

Freiburg

·     Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of property

Heidelberg

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Konstanz

A misappropriation requiring a permit exists in particular if living space is
rented for tourist accommodation for more than six weeks a year.

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Mannheim
·       Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Meersburg
·       Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Stuttgart

·       Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

·      Information on the Tightening of the Statute Adopted in 2021

Überlingen

A misappropriation requires a permit especially if living space is rented for tourist accommodation for more than six weeks a year.

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Bavaria:

The state of Bavaria introduced a Statute on the Misappropriation of Residential Space in 2007 and was last tightened in mid-2017. A misappropriation permit is especially required if residential space is rented out for tourist accommodation for more than eight weeks a year.

Further information on the individual municipal regulations in Bavaria can be found on
the following pages:

Bamberg

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Erlangen

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Fürstenfeldbrück

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Munich

·      Application for misappropriation       

·      General information

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

·       FAQ

Nuremburg

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Puchheim

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Regensburg

·      Statute on the Misappropriation of Residential Space

Berlin:

In Berlin, the Law Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property  has been in place since 2013. The law was last tightened in 2021.

A permit for misappropriation can be granted upon application if private interests worthy of protection outweigh the public interest in maintaining the residential space in question. This may be the case if the owner-occupied main residence in Berlin is rented out for other than residential purposes during the owner's absence.

In addition, a basic daily limit of 90 days per year applies to secondary homes
when they are rented out as vacation homes. If the tenant has a primary
residence or at least one other secondary residence in the state of Berlin, no
permit is to be issued by the responsible authorities.

The offering and advertising of living space for other than residential purposes
requires a registration number from the responsible district office. Since
August 1, 2018, this number must always be displayed in public view.

Pursuant to Section 5a(3) ZwVbG, the obligation to display and provide a registration number does not apply if the exact location of the accommodation and the full name and address
of the provider or advertiser are clearly visible (e.g. in an imprint as defined in Section 5 of the Telemedia Act).

If the provider is a legal entity, in addition to the exact location of the accommodation, the name, the address at which it is established, its legal form and the authorized
representatives or the commercial register number must be indicated when offering
or advertising.

Further information on the law as well as on the required applications can be found on
the following pages of the service portal of the City of Berlin:

·      Request for approval

·      General information

·      Law Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property – City of Berlin

·       FAQ

Brandenburg:

In Brandenburg the Statute on the Misappropriation of Residential Space has been in place since May 2019. A misappropriation requiring a permit exists if residential space is rented out for more than eight weeks per year.

The law can be found on the following page of the state of Brandenburg:

·      Statute on the Misappropriation of Residential Space

Further information on individual municipal regulations in Brandenburg can be found on
the following pages:

Potsdam

·       Application for misappropriation

·       General information

·      FAQ

Bremen:

Since June 2018, the Bremen Housing Protection Act applies in Bremen. In 2021 the law was last tightened. No permit is required under certain circumstances, including the
rental of the primary or secondary residence if it does not exceed 90 days per
calendar year or if the rental comprises less than 50% of the total area of the
apartment.

The law can be found on the following page:

·      Bremen Housing Protection Act

Hamburg:


Hamburg introduced the Housing Protection Act in 1982, which was last amended in 2018.
Permission is not required for the use of a main residence for other than residential purposes if this use is limited to a maximum of eight weeks within a calendar year.

The temporary exception to the ban on misappropriation does not apply to secondary
residences. If living space is rented to changing users, the responsible
authorities must be informed in advance. The authorities then will immediately issue
an official number (housing protection number). As of April 1, 2019, the
housing protection number must be indicated in a publicly visible manner when
offering and advertising the living space for purposes other than residential
use.

The exemption in section 13 paragraph 9 HmbWoSchG (imprint) may apply if landlords
can provide an imprint in the sense of section 5 TMG (Telemedia Act).

For more information on the act and the required forms, please visit the following City
of Hamburg pages:

·       General information

·       Hamburg Housing Protection Act

Hesse:

In Hesse, the Hessian Housing Supervision Act (HwoAufG) has been in effect since 2017.

Further information on individual municipal regulations in Hesse can be found on the
following pages:

Frankfurt

For main residences, a basic limit of eight weeks per year applies when these are rented
out as a vacation home. If the apartment is to be rented out as a vacation home
for up to eight weeks per year, an application for short-term or partial
conversion must be submitted. If the apartment is to be rented out permanently
as a vacation home, it is necessary to submit an application for permanent
conversion. If the apartment is offered as a vacation home for a maximum of six
months within three years, an application for temporary conversion must be
submitted.

·      Application for temporary or partial change of use

·      Application for permanent change of use

·      Application for temporary change of use

·       General information

·       Frankfurt Vacation Rental Statute

·       Leaflet Vacation Home Statutes

Maintal

A permit must be issued if the primary residence is used for less than eight weeks per
calendar year for other than residential purposes
·       Maintal Vacation Rental Statutes

Lower Saxony:

At the beginning of 2019, the state government of Lower Saxony passed the Lower Saxony Act on the Statute of the Misappropriation of Residential Space (NZwEWG). In areas that are predominantly characterized by tourism, a misappropriation requiring approval exists especially if residential space is rented out for tourist accommodation for more than eight
weeks a year. In all other areas, the limit is twelve weeks.

Further information on individual municipal regulations in Lower Saxony can be found on
the following pages:

Göttingen

Lueneburg

Norderney

·      Statute Prohibiting the Misappropriation of Property

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania:

Since May 29, 2021, the Law on the Prohibition of the Misappropriation of Residential Space applies in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. 

There are currently no municipal regulations for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

North Rhine-Westphalia:

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Housing Oversight Act which has been in force since 2014, was replaced by the Housing Strengthening Act in July 2021 and now regulates the prohibition of misappropriation of residential space in the state.  

Further information on individual municipal regulations in North Rhine-Westphalia can
be found on the following pages:

Aachen

·       Housing Protection Statute

Bonn

·       Application for misappropriation

·       General information

Cologne

·      Housing Protection Statute

Grevenbroich

·       Housing Protection Statute

Dortmund

·      Housing Protection Statute

Dusseldorf

·      Housing Protection Statute

Muenster

·      Housing Protection Statute

Rhineland-Palatinate

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the Statute on the Misappropriation of Residential Space
has been in place since February 2020.

Taxes

Several local authorities in Germany levy additional taxes for the hosting of private
guests. They have different designations: Bed tax, "cultural promotion
tax", city tax, lodging or overnight tax. These are not, however, to be
confused with the spa taxes, which are only levied in spa towns.

All of the so-called "bed tax models" have in common that they must be
transferred to the relevant local authority. On that note, please also seek
information from the relevant authorities as to whether and to what extent you
are obliged to levy any such duty from your guests.