This article provides specific information about local laws that apply to people who host their homes in Heidelberg. As also mentioned in the article Responsible hosting in Germany, it’s your responsibility to verify and comply with any obligations that apply to you as a Host. This article can serve as a starting point or place you can come back to if you have questions, but it isn’t exhaustive, and doesn’t constitute legal or tax advice. It’s a good idea to check to make sure laws and procedures are current.
Some of the laws that might affect you are complicated. Contact the City of Heidelberg directly or consult a local advisor, such as an attorney or tax professional, if you have questions.
Short-term rental regulations
The Statute on the Prohibition of the Misappropriation of Residential Space in the City of Heidelberg (Satzung über das Verbot der Zweckentfremdung von Wohnraum in der Stadt Heidelberg) is a statute that prohibits the use of living space for unauthorized purposes and governs the use of residential property. The statute includes regulations of home sharing, including short-term rentals in Heidelberg. It also covers different regulations depending on the type of accommodation you offer.
Since 29 December 2021, every Host who is sharing residential space on a short-term basis in Heidelberg has to obtain and display a registration number in the respective listing.
You can get this registration number from the City of Heidelberg, where you must register your rental activity.
You must then add your registration number to your Airbnb listing in the appropriate field. You can find that field by following these instructions:
- Go to Listings and select the listing for which you wish to add the registration number
- Go to Policies and rules and scroll down until you see the section Laws and regulations
- Next to Regulations, click Edit
- Under Add a permit number, click Add
Find further official information about the registration obligations from the Heidelberg authorities. If you have questions about the registration obligations, you can contact the Heidelberg housing department.
There is no time limit if you rent out less than 50 % of your residential space. If you want to rent out more than 50 % of your residential space, you can do so for up to 10 weeks per calendar year with a registration number. If you choose to host more, you can apply for a permit.
According to the statutes, as a Host who wants to rent out more than 50% of residential space on a short-term basis for more than 10 weeks per calendar year, you are generally required to have a permit from the Heidelberg authorities. You can find more information about how to obtain a permit on Heidelberg's website.
As a Host, you only fall under the statutes when you wish to rent out residential space on a short-term basis. This means that other spaces, e.g., commercial space, hotels/hostels, and other non-residential spaces, are not covered by the law, and you do not need a permit or a registration number in these cases.