The rent brake does little in bamberg

The rent brake does little in bamberg

The students of a shared apartment in concordia-strabe are still among those to bite the bullet: rent increase of a full 20 percent!

Price increases of this magnitude will no longer be possible as early as next week. As early as august, the bavarian state government will introduce a price brake in bamberg and 88 other cities in the state. It limits the maximum rent increases within three years from 20 to 15 percent.

The increase for the students would have been a few euros lower in this case. Not to be underestimated, one would think – given the housing costs in bamberg, which are not exactly low for low-income earners. This was also the consensus of the city council, which requested in june that the regulation for munich also be applied in bamberg. Tenor at the time: everything must be done to prevent prices from rising even further.
Nevertheless, the new law, which was introduced six weeks before the state elections, has not met with much enthusiasm in bamberg. Not even the city’s top tenant protector, thomas kliemann of the tenants’ association, believes that the rent brake will achieve the goal formulated by justice minister beate merk (CSU) of curbing the rapid price increases. "It’s just a drop in the bucket – and the real price drivers will be spared", says the lawyer for rental law.

The reason, which can be confirmed by anyone who knows anything about the real estate market, is that the rent brake only applies to rents for existing properties. But it is precisely such long-term rental relationships that are not the cause of the exploding price level in bamberg. On the contrary. Because tenant elevation proceedings are tied to high hurdles, existing rents in many cases reflect the lower price levels of the past few years. They help steamroll housing costs, according to kliemann.

The so-called rent cap, on the other hand, does not affect new rentals, where the laws of the market take full effect. As soon as a tenant gives notice, or when a new apartment is completed, the landlord is free to set the rent, in other words, he can charge whatever the market will bear.
A price example: many existing rents in bamberg are still at five euros per square meter. A rent increase of twenty percent was raised the rent to six euros, a 15 percent increase to 5.75 euros. The savings by decree are only 0.25 euros per square meter. If, on the other hand, the tenant leaves his or her old apartment in order to look for a new one, the situation is different. Then the rents usually rise to market level, in good locations of bamberg not seldom to 8,50 euro. This came in our case of an increase of 70 percent (!) the same.

What has become a problem for many in bamberg is understandable from an economic point of view: the extreme price level for new rentals reflects the scarcity of apartments, the price of their production and the attractiveness of the location. Martina bauernschmitt from the association of homeowners bamberg therefore thinks nothing of regulating existing rents even more without at the same time doing something to stimulate housing construction. "This regulation is going nowhere. It does not eliminate the cause of the problem."
For thomas kliemann, the rent brake has another disadvantage: it could tempt landlords to enjoy the benefits of a new rental by pushing tenants out of the apartment. The controversial modernization paragraph 559 is also a sharp weapon in the hands of owners who want to get rid of their tenants. It allows eleven percent of the modernization costs per year to be passed on to the tenant.
A few hundred euros a month can quickly add up, as bamberg painter michael cleff learned a year ago. His rent should quadruple.

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