October 19, 2019

Newsy Today

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Rent reduction apparently off the table: compromise found: Berlin rents are to be capped

In Berlin, the recent sharp increase in rents should be frozen for five years. That's what the coalition committee agreed at its six-hour Friday night meeting, participants said.

"Habemus Mietendeckel," tweeted Berlin's Green Party leader Antje Kapek. The law is intended to cover rents for around 1.5 million apartments built before 2014. It is due to enter into force retroactively to June 18, 2019 at the beginning of 2020 – on which day the Senate had decided on the first cornerstones. Planned are next to the actual rent stop various flanking measures.

First, however, the Senate still has to decide on the bill and vote for the House of Representatives. For other major cities in Germany, the model with which Berlin entered new territory could be interesting.

The initially envisaged possibility to allow tenants a lump sum in addition to the cover, if they spend more than 30 percent of their net income on housing costs, is reportedly off the table. It would have meant intervening on a broad front in existing leases.

The background for the Mietendeckel plans is the tense housing market in the capital. In some parts of the city, ordinary earners hardly have a chance to find an affordable place to stay. According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, rents for free apartments have doubled to an average of € 11.09 per square meter net in 2018 in 2018.

The rise in rents in Berlin is thus stronger than elsewhere in Germany. This causes heated discussions in the city, an initiative has even strained a referendum on the expropriation of large housing groups.