AirBnB Banned In Berlin For Renters Offering Entire Apartments

Of course, this ban in Berlin isn’t the first time AirBnB has faced controversy from city governments. In many cases, however, officials have ruled in favor AirBnB. Local spokesperson for the company Julian Trautwein expressed his hope that Berlin would consider the decisions made by other housing authorities, specifically noting that the company offered many residents an alternative form of income.

“Berliners want clear and simple rules for home sharing, so they can continue to share their own home with guests. We will continue to encourage Berlin policy-makers to listen to their citizens and to follow the example of other big cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam or Hamburg and create new, clear rules for normal people who are sharing their own homes.”

There has been pushback from AirBnB renters who argue that the change is not allowing them to work. Several Berlin AirBnBers banded together under Apartments Allianz. One renter, who spoke with The Local under an anonymous name, was especially chilled by the request for those who found others violating the new law to report them to authorities.

“In Germany, of all places, maybe we should reconsider this kind of thing.”

Outside of Berlin, AirBnB’s de-regulated take on the sharing economy has also come across other issues on its path to accommodation domination. Racial bias has been a pernicious issue in the company’s offerings. A study from Harvard Business School found that people with African-American names were 15 percent less likely to get a response.

AirBnB user Quirtina Crittenden started the hashtag #AirBnBWhileBlack after noticing this kind of discrimination in her personal experience on the site. It immediately began trending, with experiences reflecting the kind she shared with NPR.

“The hosts would always come up with excuses like, oh, someone actually just booked it, or, oh, some of my regulars are coming in town, and they’re going stay there; I just haven’t updated my calendar. But I got suspicious when I would check back, like, days later and see that those dates were still available.”

AirBnB banned in Berlin

Do you think Berlin was right to ban AirBnB for those renting full apartments?

[Photo illustration via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]