Sunday 22nd November 2020
The rents for around 1.5 million apartments in Berlin have been frozen since February. The SPD in the federal capital regards the rent cap as a success. According to the Social Democrats, the model could also be used in other major cities in the country.
The parliamentary group leader of the Berlin SPD, Raed Saleh, sees the metropolis’s controversial rent cover law as a model for other cities as well. “I am convinced that the discussion will come,” said Saleh. “The pressure in other cities is so great that it is automatically discussed, incidentally also within the Union.”
According to the so far unique law, the rents for around 1.5 million apartments have been frozen at the June 2019 level since February 23. They are allowed to increase by a maximum of 1.3 percent annually from 2022. If an apartment is rented out again, the landlord must adhere to the upper limits and the last rent requested. The rent cap is limited to five years. The second stage of the law comes into force on Monday. Excessive existing rents then have to be reduced. This applies if a rent is more than 20 percent above the specified upper limits. According to the Senate, around 340,000 apartments are affected.
Saleh expects regulation at the federal level
According to Saleh, the topic of rent regulation will also play a role in federal politics after the federal elections in autumn 2021: “I firmly assume that the next federal government will have to develop new federal statutory regulations because the market can no longer regulate it alone,” said he. In a social market economy in particular, the state must also exert influence. “We did that in Berlin.” He is convinced that the federal government will find a federal regulation.
According to Saleh, the rent cover law has made it easier for many Berliners to get through the Corona crisis so far. The SPD politician pointed out the difficult situation for a number of industries such as gastronomy and the cuts in wages and salaries due to short-time work. According to the SPD politician, it would have been even more difficult to get through this phase without resolutions such as capping rents and exemption from fees in the education sector.
“And I am also convinced that in the end the rent cap is an economic stimulus program,” said Saleh. “People are investing their money back in the city.” If you know that you can save something on rent and be sure that it will not go up all the time, you spend the money.