Thursday , February 27 2020
Rental price brakes tightened: Tenants can get back excess amounts paid

Rental price brakes tightened: Tenants can get back excess amounts paid

The period of validity of the rental price brake is extended – and with much stricter rules. In view of the tense situation on the housing market, the Bundestag has decided that tenants will be able to reclaim excess rent paid retrospectively for up to two and a half years. The rent brake, which limits rental levels after moving to existing apartments in popular areas, was also extended until at least the end of 2025.

In areas with a price brake, a landlord is generally only allowed to charge ten percent more than the standard rental price. The rent brake has been criticized for years, hardly show any effect, According to the Federal Government's assessment, however, this has at least moderately slowed the rise in rents in recent years.

However, according to surveys by the tenants' association, many landlords did not stick to the limit – also because they have not yet had to fear any fines. So far, they have not had to pay back the excess money they have received. The rent was only adjusted from the time the tenant made a complaint. That is now being changed. The complaints must be made within 30 months.

SPD Vice Group leader Eva Högl said that the price brake had worked in recent years. "We want to continue in the same way now." The CDU deputy Thorsten Frei spoke of an instrument to save time. It is important that this is used for housing construction. The left demanded a much stronger limitation of the rent increase, Högl referred to the situation in Berlin, where the rent paid was an average of seven euros. With new rentals, however, amounts of ten euros would be required and paid.

However, the Berlin Senate has decided to enact regulations that go far beyond the rental price brake. Berlin has one by law rent cap decided that will apply to around 1.4 million apartments. This will freeze rents for five years. If these are already more than 20 percent above the upper limits published by the Senate, tenants can demand a reduction. Whether the law is constitutional will probably be decided in court.

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