“In 2023 we will issue a total of around 150 bans on the use of holiday apartments,” Hans-Martin Slopianka, spokesman for the Nordfriesland district, explains to Mopo. This figure also includes those who rent their basement or attic to vacation guests.

In these cases, the feared prohibition of use is due to the lack of an escape route and violations of fire safety.

“The surprising thing from our point of view is that it came a little without warning.”

And what does Germany's favorite island in the North Sea look like? “So far we have banned the use of Sylt on 50 occasions, with an estimated 11,000 holiday apartments on the island,” says Slopianka: “We are therefore taking a rather moderate approach.”

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However, the deputy mayor of Westerland, Carsten Kerkamm, appears surprised in the NDR magazine “Panorama” by the speed that the district is suddenly taking: “What is surprising from our point of view is that it came a little without prior notice,” he complains. the politician.

Nobody knows how many holiday apartments, legal or illegal, there are on the luxury island, because: only owners with more than ten beds are counted, all small and very small owners who offer one or two small holiday apartments are counted.

Illegal holiday apartments: controls for ten years

“There are simply no numbers,” says the district spokesperson. But the project “Detection and closure of illegal holiday apartments in the North Friesland district” is designed for a duration of ten years: “At the end of the program in 2032, legally impeccable conditions should prevail in the resorts,” the spokesperson hopes. .

Most of the holiday apartments that have now closed are in areas where building legislation only allows permanent housing. For decades, owners were able to use their apartments as gold mines without permission because local politicians turned a blind eye to bubbling tourism revenues, until finally the painful awakening came: locals can no longer find a roof over their heads because to all the mostly empty holiday apartments and second homes.

In spring 2023, the Sylt municipality banned the construction of new holiday apartments. But the islanders do not unite: only Westerland and the towns in the center of the island belong to the community. Hörnum, List and Kampen, the celebrity paradise, have not banned new construction.

The fear of the prohibition letter is especially great among small owners who rent out a vacation property to pay off the loan on their home (or second home). His dream, so that the dream does not fall apart: the district should set a deadline and from that moment on all holiday apartments that have previously been rented to guests will automatically be legalized. A pious wish: “After a legal examination, both the district and the highest construction supervisory authority of the Ministry of the Interior in Kiel have come to the conclusion that there is no legally binding possibility of reaching a solution in a timely manner. ”was the district's dry response. headquarters in Husum.

The district's construction director, Burkhard Jansen, hopes that this will be understood: “Most people know that not all unauthorized uses can later be legalized.” So far only two owners from St. Peter-Ording have gone to court against the closure of their holiday apartments. The process is still ongoing.

By Stephanie Lamprecht