Permitted temporary rental period for furnished apartments

Sun-flooded room with terrace door - Apartment by City-Wohnen Hamburg

City-Wohnen brokers temporary furnished apartments from three months. This is the allowed rental period in Hamburg.


What rental period is allowed for a furnished rental in Hamburg?


As in many other cities, special rules apply in Hamburg for temporary rentals of furnished apartments. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent the misappropriation of housing so that sufficient apartments are available for the long-term housing market.

City-Wohnen specializes in helping apartment seekers looking for temporary furnished housing between three and twelve months (or longer). We do not offer vacation rentals that are rented by the day or week.

A rental period of 6 months or more is always unproblematic and is not considered a misappropriation of living space.

A rental period of 3 months or more is not problematic if the lessee needs the apartment for a specific reason, for example due to work.

A housing protection number is not required for rentals at City-Wohnen as we broker "residential" and not vacation rentals.

Shorter-term rentals starting from a period of 3 months are allowed under certain conditions. The key thing to remember is that we are talking about renting out living space for residential purposes, not vacation rentals that are only rented out for a short period of time. However, the rules as to when one can speak of "residential purposes" are unfortunately not as clearly delineated as we would like. Under certain circumstances it is possible that the rental agreement will be examined by the responsible district office ... only to find out that a City-Wohnen is always residential rental.

What period of time is allowed for renting out apartments on a temporary basis in Hamburg?

Where the boundaries lie between a permitted and an unpermitted rental is a complex matter. We sat down with the Department of Urban Development and Housing (Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen) to discuss the conditions. In summary:

What period of time is allowed for renting out apartments on a temporary basis in Hamburg?

Where the boundaries lie between a permitted and an unpermitted rental is a complex matter. We sat down with the Department of Urban Development and Housing (Behörde für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen) to discuss the conditions. In summary:


6 months and up

Renting from 6 months is always unproblematic. Neither housing protection number nor permit are required.


3 months and up

A rental of 3 months or more is usually unproblematic if it can be demonstrated that the rental is for residential purposes. For example, if the lessee needs interim housing for professional or educational reasons.


Renting from 2-3 months

Here, too, the rental is usually unproblematic if the rental is demonstrably "residential." The test criteria do become somewhat more restrictive, though. If the district office wants to check for any housing protection violations, they look a little closer. Examples of important criteria are: is there a proper rental contract, is the rent paid monthly, what reasons are there for the rental for both parties, has the lessee registered with the registration office, etc.?


Renting up to 56 days (approx. 2 months) per year without change of renter

In general, the following applies to this situation - if it is a purely residential relationship, in principle no residential protection number is required. However, in this case it may be useful to obtain a housing protection number to prevent misunderstandings. You can obtain this number free of charge from the "Serviceportal Hamburg".
Note: City-Wohnen specializes in long-term rentals from 3 months and only accepts new apartments with a rental period of minimum three months.

Follow-up rentals of just 1-2 months

Sometimes an apartment cannot be rented for the complete period available and a lessee for the subsequent period has to be found. These rental periods are sometimes quite short, for example 1-2 months. In this case, the Department of Urban Development and Housing has assured us that it is still housing and can be rented without a housing protection number or permit. Again the important points are the lease agreement, the monthly rent, etc.

Which period is allowed for vacation rentals in Hamburg?

Note: City-Wohnen does not offer vacation rentals.

In Hamburg, housing in the central districts is high in demand but hard to find. The business with tourists is booming, and many apartments are only rented out as overpriced as vacation rentals. Already in the eighties, Hamburg politicians introduced the term Wohnraumzweckfremdung (misappropriation of residential housing), but did not press the matter for a long time. The policy was revived about 5-6 years ago. In recent years, the city of Hamburg has decided to take measures against the rapid increase in vacation rentals. Since January 1, 2019, Hamburg has a registration requirement for housing that is not rented out for residential purposes. This is the case, for example, if an apartment is rented out commercially as a vacation home.
If you want to rent out your apartment to vacationers, you can do so for up to 2 months a year, but you must apply for a housing protection number and report each rental to the respective district office within 10 days of the start of the rental period. This office keeps track of how often rentals are made in an occupancy schedule. The housing protection number must be displayed with every advertisement, and the portals for vacation rentals must also adhere to this.

If you are considering offering vacation rentals, the following regulations apply:

  • You may rent out the apartment you live in yourself as a vacation apartment to tourists for a maximum of 56 days per year,
  • For this you need a housing protection number, which you can apply for from the local office.
  • You must display this number in any advertisements.
  • You must register each rental with the district office in an occupancy plan.
  • The district office will forward your rental data to the tax office.
  • The rules for secondary residences are even stricter. These can only be rented out with a permit as a vacation home. The permit costs from € 500 and up.

I am offering a furnished apartment for interim living. Do I need to apply for a housing protection number?

No. As long as the apartment is rented out "for residential purposes" and not as a vacation home, a housing protection number is not necessary. A violation of housing protection regulations does not exist with a rental period of 6 months or more. If a lessee comes to Hamburg for professional or educational reasons and needs a temporary rental for these reasons, it is "presumed" that there is no violation of housing protection if there is a minimum of 3 months and a regular rent payment.

Which criteria are relevant to determine whether a rental is for residential purposes?

  • It is "residential" and not, for example, a vacation if.
  • The rents are paid monthly
  • There is a legally-binding lease agreement
  • There is a housing provider confirmation
  • There is no change of lessee

Where can I find the regulations regarding housing protection in Hamburg?

Information is available in German: Hamburgisches Wohnraumschutzgesetz, see the information published on 01.06.2014 when the law went into effect


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