Berlin (dpa) - According to city development senator Katrin Lompscher, the Berlin rental cover takes away many people's concerns about the next rent increase.
The law that came into force on Sunday brings “the rent levels in Berlin that are out of joint again into balance,” emphasized the left-wing politician. "Politicians have a responsibility to ensure that people can afford a roof over their heads," said Lompscher. "Even if the law is likely to be judicially reviewed, we are confident."
The CDU and FDP in Berlin have already announced that the controversial law will be examined by the constitutional court. The opposition and the real estate industry have repeatedly criticized in the past months that it is not legally sustainable, that jobs are at risk and that they are not helping to slow the rent increase, which has been felt more clearly in Berlin in recent years than in many other cities.
Lompscher emphasized that the rental cover alone was not enough. In addition, more affordable new construction is essential to relax the housing market. "The new building was deliberately excluded from the rental cover, because the next five years should be used intensively to noticeably improve the situation on the housing market," said the senator.
The rental cover law is limited to five years. This does not include new apartments that have been ready for occupancy since January 1, 2014. Most rents will be frozen at the level of June 18, 2019 - the Senate had decided the first key points on that day. If an apartment is rented out again in the future, the landlord must adhere to new upper limits and the last rent requested. From 2022 onwards, rents to offset inflation may rise by up to 1.3 percent annually.
There are also plans to sue for excessive rents that exceed the upper limits by more than 20 percent and to claim money back. However, this part should only come into force in about nine months. In the event of violations of the rental cover law, landlords face a fine of up to EUR 500,000.
Information from the Senate Department for Urban Development on the rental cover