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Hosting Guests Securely: Consider Legal Requirements

The following article is intended to inform you that there are certain regulations for vacation rental hosts that must be strictly adhered to.

It does not claim to be comprehensive nor does it serve as legal security for you to rely on in case of disputes.

Consider Reporting Obligations

As a landlord in Germany, you are obliged to keep certain information about your guests if you rent the vacation accommodation for less than three months a year. Additionally, you must register a business if you offer so-called hotel-type services. This includes even providing a bread delivery service for your guests.

Business taxes apply when your revenue reaches €24,500 per year, and you must be registered even below this income threshold. If you only offer accommodation and no other services, you should include your earnings as "Income from renting and leasing" in your tax declaration.

Please inform your guests about the possible tourist tax: Those who wish to explore the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and many other recreational areas in Germany during their horse vacations may have to pay a tourist tax. This is usually collected by the hosts and remitted to the relevant authorities. It is tiered based on the age of guests, so often, there are no fees for children under 12 years old.

You may also have reporting obligations if your property is only rented or leased. Some contracts exclude the offer of subletting or subleasing. Offering vacation rentals may, therefore, not be possible.

Please inquire about this with your landlord or lessor in advance or carefully review the underlying contracts. Such restrictions may also exist due to potential loan agreements or mortgages. Your financial institution can advise you on your rights and obligations.

Fire Safety, Escape Routes, and First Aid

You are legally required to mark escape routes. Please ensure that appropriate signs are prominently displayed. Also, inform your guests during check-in about what to do in case of a fire.

Furthermore, you should prominently display the emergency numbers for the rescue services and the local police station in the stable and accommodation. Always assume that panic can set in during an emergency, and all necessary routes and measures should be as simple and self-explanatory as possible!

Please also remember to hang fire extinguishers in easily accessible locations and inform your guests of their presence upon arrival. In terms of standard safety rules, educate them about common stable safety rules and, if possible, post them in written form.

Accidents can happen quickly while riding: a rider may fall from the horse or get kicked while grooming. Perhaps something happens to the guest horse due to excessive enthusiasm in the paddock.

What's important is to stay calm and provide first aid! To ensure this is easily possible, first aid equipment that is up to date should be present in the stable and accommodation. Outdated first aid kits should be replaced. Additionally, first aid equipment should be conspicuously displayed, ideally in the tack room.

If the tack room is locked overnight, another first aid kit should still be accessible. Please inform your guests where to find the necessary first aid equipment. Furthermore, including a first aid briefing or an explanation of where everything is located should be part of the check-in process.

Additionally, you should include the phone number of the stable veterinarian and your farrier in the first aid kit.