Saturday 1 February 2020

Berlin Rent Cap - Mietendeckel - Actions Required Before The End of February

The Berlin city parliament voted on Thursday to pass the rent cap “Mietendeckel” draft into law. It will most likely come into effect at the beginning of March, possibly as early as the end of February when officially published.

It applies only to apartments completed before 2014! New property developments are not touched by this law.

There are three major aspects:
  • A rent freeze 
  • A rent reduction, where applicable
  • A tenant rent refund
This article will focus on the rent freeze, the expected impact on the owner and the preparations to be made as the law applies with regard to landlords.

We assume that most of the discussions will initially be with tenants who received a rent increase after the cut-off date of June 18, 2019. Once the law comes into force, it can be checked whether there are any claims for recovery of the increased rent. Incidentally, this also applies to graduated rents (Staffelmiete) that have increased during this period.

The law stipulates that tenants can only request a reduction in rent nine months after the law comes into force. Any claims must be made by the tenants directly, the district offices (Bezirksamt) however may continue to take all measures necessary to enforce the law. This includes, for example, providing tenants with information about the legally permissible rent for their apartment.

However, landlords who have signed a new lease after the cut-off date and before the law comes into effect (end of February or beginning of March) can rest easy. According to a recent clarification in the draft law, this new contract rent will stand. Simple reimbursement of rent that has been paid too much is not owed.
Any rental contract signed between now and the date the law goes into effect is your “freeze rent”. However, the following also applies here: If the rent is inadmissibly high (more the 20% above the rent cap "Mietendeckel" table), a reduction can be requested under the terms of the new legislation.

Actions to take:

Get as many rentals of vacant apartments done by the end of February as possible, but keep in mind the 20% rent cap. More on this specific aspect coming up. 

This is a time critical issue, we can provide support in setting up your action plan and its execution. Contact us via the email address on the right.


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