AIn view of the tense situation on the housing market, the Bundestag has extended and tightened the rent brake. In particularly affected districts, rents for new contracts can only be a maximum of ten percent above a benchmark index by 2025, the parliament decided on Friday in Berlin. This extends the existing regulations by five years.
In addition, it will be easier for tenants in the future to claim back the amounts that have been overpaid since the contract was concluded if the rents are excessive. The complaints must be made within 30 months. The rent brake only applies to existing apartments, but not to new buildings.
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.” CDU MP Thorsten Frei spoke of an instrument to save time. It is important that this is used for housing construction. The left demanded a significantly stronger limitation of the rent increase.
The SPD politician Högl referred to the situation in Berlin, where the rent paid was seven euros. With new rentals, however, amounts of ten euros would be required and paid. The Berlin Senate goes far beyond the regulations and has passed a state rental law, which 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.
Landlords fail with urgent application against rent covers
Whether the law is constitutional will probably be decided in court. However, the Federal Constitutional Court published a decision on the previous day on Friday that Berlin landlords cannot yet take action against rent covers. The court rejected a corresponding urgent request as inadmissible. The content of the law has not yet been finalized, it said. With the urgent application, the complainants wanted to ensure that penalties for excessively high rents and violations of information obligations were suspended for the time being.
As the Federal Constitutional Court decided, this application is “premature”. The admissibility of an urgent application before it is announced presupposes that “the content of the law is clear and its announcement is imminent”. This is not yet the case here. The law had already been discussed and passed in two readings by the Berlin House of Representatives. Under state law, however, the Senate or the President of the House of Representatives could request a third reading. It is still unclear whether this will still happen. The President of the House of Representatives has not yet signed and drafted the law.