This article provides specific information about local laws that apply to people who host their homes in Münster. Just like our country article for 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 Münster Housing Office or the Finance Office directly or consult a local advisor, such as an attorney or tax professional, if you have questions about how laws affects you and your space.
Short-term rental regulations
Münster has regulations on short-term rentals which are designed to protect and preserve residential spaces. Check the guidelines for more information. The rules came into force on 1 July 2016 and were prolonged in 2021 for the last time, following the new housing framework under the state-wide so-called Wohnraumstärkungsgesetz NRW.
According to the regulations, any space within city limits which is objectively suitable and subjectively intended for residential purposes is defined as a residential space.
However, spaces that have been used without interruption for other than residential purposes, both before and after the rules were adopted, are not subject to these regulations.
In general, you need to obtain a permit from the City of Münster if you want to rent out more than 50% of the total living space of any residential space on a short-term basis for more than 90 days per calendar year. There are exemptions, for example for students, who can rent residential space on a short-term basis up to 180 days per calendar year. A permit isn’t required according to the local regulations of Münster, if you want to rent out less than 50 % of the total size of your residence.
From July 1, 2022 on, you will have to register your listing with the city authorities and display a registration number (“Wohnraum-Identitätsnummer”) online if you want to rent out on a short-term basis. This rule applies irrespective of the amount of days per calendar year that you intend to rent out your residential space on a short-term basis. Until then, you are required to notify the Housing Office via this form for any intended short-term rental of residential space.
The City of Münster levies an accommodation tax. The basis of the accommodation tax is the amount paid by the guest to stay overnight in a private lodging establishment which provides accommodation in exchange for payment, regardless of whether the accommodation service is actually used. Private lodging establishments include hotels, inns, guesthouses, private rooms, youth hostels, apartments, motels, campsites, and similar facilities.
The tax is based on the amount spent by the guest for the accommodation, including VAT. The accommodation tax is equal to 4.5% of this amount.
In the exceptional case when it isn’t possible to divide an invoice into the amount paid for accommodation and that paid for other services (such as half-pension and full-pension inns), the basis shall be the invoice amount less a lump sum of €7.00 for each breakfast and €10.00 for each lunch and dinner provided to each guest.
The tax shall be levied for a maximum of 21 days in the case of an uninterrupted stay in the same establishment.
As a host, you (or whoever operates the accommodation establishment) are responsible for collecting the tax and forwarding it to the city on the guest's behalf.
Returns and due dates
The collected accommodation tax must be forwarded to the Münster City Treasury by the 20th day after the end of each calendar quarter (April, July, October, and January 20).
Tax collection and reporting
You (or someone who operates the accommodation on your behalf) must collect the accommodation tax from each guest who has declared their stay to be personal/private in nature.
You’ll need to calculates the tax for the entirety of the stay and submits a return to the City of Münster on the officially prescribed form in Annex 1 by the 15th day following the end of each calendar quarter (April, July, October, and January 15).
You (or your designated operator) will need to sign the tax declaration.
Guests are exempt from the tax if they’re using the accommodation for one of the following purposes:
- Business purposes or or any activity where you earn income, including commercial, freelance, wealth management, agricultural activities, or work done for one's employer
- Commercial or freelance secondary activities
- Educational or other training purposes