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Germany: Law Restricting Airbnb and Other Vacation Rentals Takes Effect in Berlin

(May 24, 2016) On May 1, 2016, a law prohibiting the illegal repurposing of residential housing without a permit took effect in Berlin, following the end of a two-year transitional period. The law aims to combat the growing housing shortage in Berlin.  “Illegal repurposing of residential housing” is defined as use of the entire home […]

South Africa: Parliament to Debate Expropriation Bill

(Feb. 12, 2016) On February 2, 2016, the Portfolio Committee on Public Works in the South African Parliament adopted the Expropriation Bill, which seeks to repeal and replace the 1975 Expropriation Act and align “the process and procedure for expropriation of property by organs of state” with the current Constitution. (Public Works Committee Adopts Expropriation […]

Germany: States Implement Federal Rent Control Act

(Aug. 3, 2015) On June 1, 2015, a new federal act on rent control entered into force in Germany. The Tenancy Law Amendment Act authorizes the individual German states to enact regulations to designate “tight housing markets” in which a rent cap will apply. Twelve of the 16 German states (Länder) have implemented the Act […]

Japan: New Law and Tax Measure to Promote Demolition and Reuse of Abandoned Houses

(Dec. 5, 2014) Japan has recently taken two measures that apply to the management of vacant housing. Abandoned houses may collapse, be fire traps and sanitation hazards, and disturb the look of the neighborhood. Strangers may sneak in and live there. (Takeshi Fukuda, Akiya mondai no genjo to taisaku [Current Situation of Vacant Houses and […]

Israel: Regulation of Affordable Housing

(Aug. 17, 2011) On August 3, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed the Planning and Construction Procedures for Speeding of Residential Construction (Temporary Provision) Law, 5771-2011. The stated purpose of the Law is to temporarily provide special arrangements for the approval of construction of residential apartments of various sizes. The Law is intended to increase […]