Germany To Cap Rent Hikes In Booming Cities

BY Realty Plus

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Germany's cabinet agreed to cap ballooning property rents in high-demand urban neighborhoods in a law set to come into force early next year.

In order to keep city rents broadly affordable, landlords will be barred from raising them by more than 10 percent above the local average for new tenants. The law aims to alleviate exorbitant rental increases in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and other popular cities which are pricing especially students and young families out of the market.

"The 'rental price brake' will help keep rents affordable for average wage earners," said Justice and Consumer Protection Minister Heiko Maas, adding that commonly seen rental hikes of 30 to 40 percent were "inacceptable".

Under the new law, which is set to stay in effect until 2020, property owners must also pay for estate agent fees, a charge so far normally levelled on tenants. Newly constructed or extensively renovated buildings will be exempt from the 10 percent-cap, so as not to discourage new property construction in cities with apartment shortages.

The law will apply only in "highly strained rental property markets", which are to be determined by Germany's 16 states. The states will calculate how much local rents are above the national average and factor in occupancy rates and whether areas are experiencing a large influx of residents.

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Tags : Germany property rents landlord tenants Minister Heiko Maas