Karlsruhe (dpa) – Shortly before the second stage of Berlin’s controversial rent limit came into effect, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected a temporary suspension.
The Karlsruhe judges rejected the urgent request for an interim order from civil society. This rents 24 apartments in Berlin.
It is not clear that the company would suffer serious disadvantages as a result of a possible rent reduction by tenants in the near future, the court announced (Az. 1 BvR 972/20). The economic consequences of a reduction in rental income do not have a special weight if they are not existential. No threat to the company’s existence was presented or appeared.
In Berlin, rents for 1.5 million apartments have been frozen at the June 2019 level since February 23. Starting in 2022, they can increase to a maximum of 1.3 percent annually. If an apartment is rented, the landlord must meet the new upper limits set by the state and the latest required rent.
According to the court, the second stage will take effect nine months after the law came into force on November 22: then excessive rents will be prohibited. Tenants whose current rent is more than 20 percent above the upper limit can lower it. The owners had filed an urgent application against this regulation in Karlsruhe. It has required a considerable amount of additional effort in implementation.
Berlin Urban Development Senator Sebastian Scheel (left) said the regulations on rent reductions will come into effect as planned. “Today’s court decision encourages us in our decision to stick to the current course of housing policy adopted by this Senate and to continue to take decisive action against the rapid evolution of prices in the Berlin rental market.” Experts assume that it will be possible to reduce the rent of around 340,000 apartments.
With the single rent cap at the national level, the red-red-green Senate wants to curb the recent sharp rise in rents in the capital. The politically and legally highly controversial regulation is limited to five years. This does not include new apartments that were ready for occupancy as of January 1, 2014.
A fundamental decision of the Federal Constitutional Court on the cap is expected in the first half of 2021. Members of the Bundestag of the CDU and FDP, but also owners, had called Karlsruhe. They consider the regulation to be unconstitutional.
The Berlin Senate confidently awaits the decision of the highest court, Scheel said. The Berlin tenants association concluded from the current decision of the constitutional judge “that excessive and unconstitutional interference in property rights is no longer suspected.” On the other hand, the German Real Estate Association (IVD) emphasized that the court “in no way” declared the rent cap to be constitutional.