The number of properties available for rent via Airbnb in Berlin has shrunk following the introduction of new regulations which have made it illegal to rent out entire apartments.
The move has come about as the result of an acute housing shortage combined with a rapid growth in the city's population. Two years ago Berlin's parliament introduced a law to ban the short-term leasing of entire flats. After a two-year notice period, the law has come into effect this month, with fines of up €100,000 (£78,000) payable if breached.
It is the intention of the Berlin authorities that the properties that were being rented out to tourists will now once again be available for the local housing market.
The legislation is likely to have a greater impact on professional landlords who may rent out multiple properties via Airbnb rather than private home owners who may rent out rooms only occasionally.
However, a spokesperson for Airbnb called for clarity on the issue, highlighting that the vast majority of Airbnb listings in Berlin are in local residents' homes and therefore will not be returned to the local housing stock.
"The vast majority of Airbnb listings in Berlin are local residents' homes. They have not been removed from the housing stock and cannot be returned - whether a spare room or the entire place when the host is out of town. Berlin's interpretation of the law is confusing for local residents; they have called for clarity and echo concerns from politicians and independent experts about the law and its impact on locals. Airbnb is an economic lifeline that boosts earnings for the typical Berlin host by €1,800 and helps them stay in their homes and the city they love," the spokesperson said.
"We believe that regular Berliners should continue to benefit from visitors to their communities and will continue to encourage the government to follow the lead of other major cities that have introduced progressive rules that support home sharers."
In London, the number of properties listed on Airbnb increased from 171 in 2009 to 25,357 by the end of 2015.