The Federal Constitutional Court declared the Berlin rent cap “unconstitutional” this morning at 9:30 a.m.
By Katie Kruse
Remind me again what the rent cap is
On 23rd February 2020 the Berlin rent cap came into effect, freezing rents on around 1,5 million apartments in the capital for the next 5 years. The reference figures used to determine future rents were taken from June 2019.
Why is the rental cap now “unconstitutional”?
To put it simply, the Berlin rent cap was imposed by the Berlin state government to stop soaring rents in the capital. Meanwhile, the federal government had already made a law to regulate rents in Germany back in 2015. The Federal Constitution has now decided that the Berlin state government had no right to make their own further regulations regarding rent. This renders the regulation invalid.
I got my rent reduced. What do I do now?
Get in touch with your landlord to see if and how this may affect you moving forwards. In the worst case, it would mean you have to make backdated rental payments. In particular, check your rental contract to see if there is any mention of “shadow rent” (Schattenmiete – a rent that would come into effect if the rental cap is deemed unconstitutional).
I can’t afford to pay rental arrears.
The Senate in Berlin has promised not to leave tenants stranded by finding a solution for those unable to pay rental arrears. The details of this will hopefully be clarified when they meet on 20th April.
Where can I go to make some noise about this?
If you want to make your voice heard, there is a protest for a continuous rental cap this evening at 18:00 PM at Hermannplatz.