Even though the bill was passed in 2014, the landmark move has been two years in the making. As of May 1, any tourist visiting the German capital will only be able to rent out rooms via Airbnb (or any other similar house sharing site), instead of entire dwellings. The move isn't exactly a direct attack on Airbnb per se, but is designed to protect property supply and keep rents low for Berlin's 3.5 million residents.
The banning of short-term apartment and house renting has not only been protected by legislation; any resident found flouting the law has the potential to be slapped with a hefty €100,000 ($151,000) fine. Under the new law, incomprehensively called Zweckentfremdungsverbot, residents can only rent up to two rooms to tourists. Understandably, reactions to the news have been both favourable and negative. And according to The Independent, Airbnb listings for Berlin dropped a whopping 40 per cent in a single month. We wonder what this will mean for Berlin's booming tourism industry?