Hamburg, Germany changes housing law to allow Airbnb

The peer-to-peer housing site celebrates a win with the German city's updated law.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
Airbnb listings for Hamburg, Germany. Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

Airbnb is celebrating another win in Europe with Germany's second-largest city revising its laws and allowing hosts to temporarily rent out their homes without a license.

The city of Hamburg will now let hosts rent out a private room or "occasionally rent out your private residence" without applying for permission, according to a blog post published by David Hantman, Airbnb's head of Global Public Policy, on Wednesday. Hosts will, however, need a license to rent out any other properties they own but do not live in.

The company, which connects residents to potential house guests, said the new law will help residents make some extra cash that can go toward paying their mortgages. Airbnb often makes this point when talking about the benefits of short-term housing, a phenomenon that is forcing local government officials everywhere to reconsider their housing laws.

"The new law replaces an old housing bill that was created in 1982 -- long before anyone thought of the Internet, the Sharing Economy, or Airbnb -- so change was long overdue," Hantman wrote.

This news comes after the city of Amsterdam gave the OK for Airbnb rentals last month.