It was not until Friday evening that the red-red-green coalition committee had agreed to freeze the last sharp rise in rents in Berlin for five years. The law, which the Senate wants to launch on Tuesday, affects around 1.5 million homes built before 2014. In addition, upper limits apply to new lettings - depending on the year of construction and equipment of the apartment.
Now there is clear criticism of the plans. The real estate association IVD called the compromise of the coalition committee irresponsible. "The Berlin state government returns to socialist housing policy," it said in a statement. Private landlords would be brought to their retirement. It is expected to come to years of litigation and uncertainty, this could "paralyze" the Berlin housing construction.
The opposition CDU faction believes that the rent cover "unrealistic expectations" arouse, but will reap disappointment and political disenchantment. "The cooperatives, the urban housing associations and the many other moderate landlords can now make sufficient contribution to the preservation and new construction of affordable rental housing," said the Group Chairman Burkard Dregger.
"Maximum bureaucracy, high legal uncertainty"
The managing director of the Berlin-Brandenburg (UVB) business association Christian Amsinck also stated that it was "more than doubtful that anything could be achieved with this rental cover in terms of housing policy". The agreement leads to "maximum bureaucracy, high legal uncertainty among tenants and landlords and a heavy burden on the construction industry".
Approval, however, came from the Berlin tenants' association. It was "very happy" about the compromise of the coalition committee, said CEO Reiner Wild. The rent cover is "a historically unique opportunity that the countries develop a public-law price regulation for the rented housing stock". In the system of local comparative rent, he sees significant deficits - a public-law pricing system, however, will be a "very, very large help for tenants". It will give many tenants the opportunity to lower their rents.
Wild said, however, that he expected considerable resistance from the landlord when the law came into force. "There will be a whole series of clashes."
Referendum calls for expropriation of major housing companies
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 companies.
An analysis of the Mietendeckel plans in Berlin can be found here: Entry drug into the planned economy