Millions of German tenants have to adjust to rising housing costs: Germany's largest real estate company, the Dax group Vonovia, considers significant rent increases to be inevitable in view of the high inflation rates.

"If inflation is permanently at four percent, rents will have to increase accordingly every year in the future," said Vonovia CEO Rolf Buch to the "Handelsblatt".

Otherwise, many landlords would get into serious trouble.

“We can't pretend that inflation is bypassing rents.

That won't work," Buch continued.

The real estate giant owns around 565,000 apartments, most of them in Germany.

The average rent demanded by Vonovia increased to EUR 7.40 per square meter in the first three months of this year – that was 3.1 percent more than a year earlier.

This is still well below the current inflation rate of just under eight percent.

ECB wants to change interest rates in summer

Vonovia shouldn't be an exception.

The experts at the online portal "Immoscout24" expect rent increases of six to seven percent for the next twelve months in view of the persistently high inflation.

Expensive energy and food caused German consumer prices to rise more sharply in May than at any time since the oil crisis in the early 1970s.

Goods and services cost an average of 7.9 percent more than a year earlier.

In the European Monetary Union, inflation even climbed to a record 8.1 percent.

Representatives of the European Central Bank, including its President Christine Lagarde, have now announced that they intend to raise interest rates in the summer and further reduce securities purchases.

So far, the currency watchdogs have kept key interest rates at record lows despite higher inflation rates, and they are still charging banks interest on their deposits in central bank accounts.