Rent a holiday apartment in Berlin
The ultimate guide


by Malte Herbst

Founder & CEO

Our experience pays off – from the professional (online) marketing of your property to competent guest communication and conscientious maintenance of your holiday accommodation.

More and more property owners in Germany are deciding to rent out their furnished properties as holiday apartments. This has two advantages: On the one hand, the otherwise empty property can be put to good use. On the other hand, a lucrative additional income can be generated by renting it out.

In Germany, the rental of holiday apartments is regulated by law. So before you can make your furnished premises available to guests, you should thoroughly inform yourself about all the associated framework conditions. Otherwise you run the risk of violating one of the many regulations and having to pay hefty fines. In this guide you will find out everything you need to know if you want to rent out a holiday apartment in Berlin.

Table of contents

Letting out a holiday apartment – ​​requirements

Not all properties in Berlin are suitable as holiday apartments. So if you’re thinking of breaking into the holiday rental industry, you should first check whether your property might be of interest to holidaymakers. The decisive factor here is primarily the location of the property. The following applies here: the better the location, the more attractive the holiday apartment is for guests. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your property in a touristically interesting location (e.g. in the central Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg)?
  • Are there good transport links to the S-Bahn, U-Bahn or bus? Many guests travel to Berlin by train or plane and are dependent on local public transport.
  • Are facilities for daily needs (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries) easily accessible at all times?
  • Are there a variety of leisure activities nearby (e.g. sights, sports facilities, other shops)?
  • Can you provide parking for guests arriving by car?
  • Also important, of course: does the property offer the level of comfort that holidaymakers expect (appropriate facilities)?

Note: If you want to rent out a holiday home, you should always keep in mind that your potential guests want to be as comfortable as possible. After all, they want to enjoy their vacation and not e.g. B. have to walk a long way to get to the nearest supermarket.

Checklist: How do I short let a holiday apartment?

If your property is in an attractive location, you are probably asking yourself: How can I rent out my holiday home? Below we have put together a comprehensive checklist to help you follow the most important steps when renting a holiday home in Germany.

Obtain approval if necessary

In principle, it is permitted in Berlin to rent out real estate as holiday apartments or holiday homes. But in many larger cities, such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, the Misappropriation Act has been in force for several years. According to this, real estate may only be misused as holiday accommodation with a permit from the responsible district office. In this way, the German government wants to counteract the housing shortage that has arisen.

Note: The law on misappropriation in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and other cities only comes into force if you want to rent out an entire accommodation. On the other hand, if you only want to make a room available for holiday guests and this is less than 50% of the total living space, you do not need a permit.

However, wherever the Misappropriation Act does not apply, you can rent out your property as a holiday home without the need for a permit. To do this, you have to register them at the residents’ registration office – if necessary also at the regulatory office. If you are only a tenant and want to sublet your rented apartment, according to § 540 BGB you first need the consent of your landlord before you register. If you fail to do this, your landlord is allowed to terminate your tenancy without notice.

Rent out a holiday apartment – ​​privately or commercially?

If you are legally allowed to make your property available as a holiday home, the next step is to find out whether you should rent your furnished premises privately or commercially. If these criteria are met, you may have to register your holiday home as a business. We recommend that you discuss the registration with your tax advisor in detail:

  • They pursue profit-making intentions.
  • To rent out your vacation rental, you employ employees.
  • By renting out your holiday home, you will make a profit of more than €24,500 per year.

It is best to inquire at the responsible trade office whether you need to register your rental activity commercially. If you have to run your holiday home rental as a business, you may also pay the associated trade tax to the tax office. It is best to talk to your tax advisor about this.

Take taxes into account

Even if you let your holiday home privately and therefore do not incur any trade tax, you are legally obliged to pay tax on your income. You do this as part of the income tax return in Appendix V for renting and leasing. If you have a commercial activity, you may be subject to sales tax. We recommend that you contact your tax advisor.

Please also note: In German health resorts that are used for relaxation and recreation, you as a landlord are obliged to demand a visitor’s tax from your guests and to pay the amount to the municipality in which your property is located. In some larger cities, you now have to collect a city tax from your guests. In Berlin, a 5% city tax is due for all tourist overnight stays – but this does not apply to business overnight stays.

Determine target group(s).

Once all the formalities have been clarified, it is now time to prepare your property for potential holiday guests. In order to be successful, you should first determine your target group(s) – after all, different groups of people have different requirements for holiday accommodation. Do you want e.g. address

  • families with (small) children,
  • couples,
  • young solo travelers or
  • business travelers

Whichever group(s) of people you choose: If you know who your guests are, you can equip your property accordingly. A big city like Berlin speaks z. B. especially young tourists who spend only a few days here. Of course, these make completely different demands on the equipment of the apartment than e.g. a family.

Ratgeber: Ferienwohnung vermieten mit richtiger Ausstattung

One thing is certain: travelers not only want to feel at home in their accommodation, they want to feel even more comfortable. So there is no getting around the cleaning of your holiday apartment in Berlin and a well thought-out furnishing of your holiday apartment. Of course, this includes first and foremost the obvious elements such as a comfortable bed, linens, towels, basic kitchen utensils and WiFi guest access.
But that’s not all. If you limit yourself to the basic equipment, your holiday accommodation will hardly be remembered. Therefore, you should provide additional extras to collect plus points from your guests. Put e.g. For example, care products are available in the bathroom or add extras to the classic kitchen utensils, such as a coffee maker or a juicer.

Important: As a landlord, you are subject to traffic safety obligations. You are therefore legally obliged to ensure that your guests are not harmed during their stay in your holiday home. Therefore, you should definitely check your property in advance for any damage (e.g. cracked stairs).

Set rental price

Would you like to rent out your holiday home, but don’t know how much rent you can charge for it? It is best to get an overview of the prices of your competitors – e.g. B. on online platforms such as Airbnb, Expedia or Booking. This will give you a feel for what price range is okay.

Basically, if you set the rental price too high, the demand will be limited. However, the same applies if you ask too little – a low rental price usually leaves a bad impression. In addition, if the rent is too low, you may not be able to cover the costs incurred for your holiday home.

According to § 1 of the Price Indication Ordinance (PAngV), you are obliged to state the final rental price in the advertisement for your holiday home. Please note that the final price must include all elements that your guests will have to pay for in any case. These include u. the additional costs (electricity, water, gas, heating), the bed linen and the final cleaning.

Organize bookings

Ideally, as soon as you have successfully advertised your holiday home, the first bookings will begin to arrive. A professional booking system that supports you in the organizational work of your holiday apartment rental is essential for this.
Special booking software programs for holiday apartments offer many useful functions that are very helpful for organizing individual bookings. By far the most important feature is a booking calendar, which always shows which periods your holiday apartment is already occupied and which can still be booked. Contacting the guests as well as payment methods and invoicing are also very easy and uncomplicated with a booking software for holiday apartments.

How long can I rent out a holiday apartment?

When you rent out your holiday apartment, you and your guests determine in the rental agreement how long you will make your furnished premises available. However, if your target group are holiday guests, you may not rent out your holiday home for longer than 6 months, otherwise normal German tenancy law applies and short-term rentals are no longer available.

Rent out a holiday apartment – ​​how does that work remotely?

Many Berliners own real estate in the German capital, but live somewhere else. Nevertheless, you would like to rent out your condominium as a holiday apartment in Berlin. Long-distance rental is possible, assuming that you have received the necessary approval – for many Berliners this has long been part of everyday life.
It is not absolutely necessary to be on site to rent a holiday apartment in Berlin. With a holiday apartment management, you are opting for an all-round carefree package. If, on the other hand, you would like to manage the holiday home rental yourself remotely, we have put together a few tips for you:

  • Draw up a written rental agreement. Especially if you cannot be there yourself, a written agreement is important to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Organize key handover. Of course you can e.g. B. Ask neighbors, friends or acquaintances to hand over the keys on site. However, a far more flexible check-in is offered e.g. B. an electronic door lock. In this case, you only have to send your guests an electronic combination of numbers so that they can access your holiday apartment. Organize the handover of the keys. Of course you can e.g. B. Ask neighbors, friends or acquaintances to hand over the keys on site. However, a far more flexible check-in is offered e.g. B. an electronic door lock. In this case, you only have to send your guests an electronic combination of numbers so that they can access your holiday home.
  • Greet your guests with a welcome book. Here you can give personal recommendations on activities, shopping opportunities, restaurants, transport connections, etc. – your tenants will definitely be happy about it!
  • Be easily accessible. Your guests may still have questions on site that they would like answered. Make sure that you always respond promptly to calls and messages – this is how you convey to your tenants that you are reliable, committed, motivated and hard-working, even from afar.
  • Clean your vacation home. After your guests have left, you will of course have to whip your holiday home into shape for the next visit – there is no getting around a thorough cleaning. If you are unable to clean up your holiday home yourself, it is best to hire a cleaner or find a local agency.

Can I rent a commercial unit as a holiday home?

Owners of commercial real estate can have their commercial space redesignated as a holiday home under certain conditions:

  • The commercial area is not located in a milieu protection area.
  • The responsible building authority has approved the change of use.
  • The commercial space is habitable – otherwise, appropriate conversion work must be carried out.
  • If you do not own the unit, landlord approval is required.
  • Note: The declaration of division of the house does not prohibit use as a holiday home.

The big advantage: If the conversion to a holiday home was successful, the Misappropriation Act does not apply in Berlin.

SHORT LET YOUR holiday apartment

Would you like to rent out your holiday apartment - right in the middle of Berlin? With Zeitgeist Berlin you benefit from an all-round carefree package - administration, rental and cleaning are taken care of for you.

Advisor: Rent a holiday apartment in Berlin

The rental of holiday accommodation is regulated by law in Germany. So if you own a property and want to rent it out as a holiday home, you should find out about the associated regulations in advance. Consider the checklist provided in this guide to get started in vacation rentals in Berlin.

Autor: Malte Herbst

Founder & CEO

Our experience pays off – from the professional (online) marketing of your property to competent guest communication and conscientious maintenance of your holiday accommodation.