2020 Rent Cap.. some scenarios to see if I got it right

7 posts in this topic

Preface:

 

I heard there's a new rent cap going on in Berlin (no idea if this applies to other areas of Brandenburg, too and/or Germany). Basically there seems to be a maximum amount of euros per square meter that is considered legal for a landlord to ask as rent.

 

Since I am probably going to be on the look for a new apartment or single house for rent, I thought I'd formulate some scenarios in order to see if I got the whole thing right.

 

Suppose I am looking for an apartment for rent. I look online, I find one. I book an appointment with the landlord. The asking price is WAY over the rent cap, as I currently see it 95% of the units I browsed do not even feel the breeze of this supposed-law.

 

Scenario 1:

I visit the unit, I like it. I tell the landlord "well, according to the new rent cap law, this apartment should cost X amount and not Y amount. Would you agree on that amount? The landlord says "no". - I am out.

 

Scenario 1b:

Identical to 1, but I vaguely refer to some laws related to rent. The landlord says "I am not discriminating against you just because you mentioned some rent cap laws.. I am simply not feeling a good vibe with you and I have the right to choose who rents my place or not. So I say no." - I am out.

 

Scenario 2:

I visit the unit, I like it. I tell the landlord "I take it". We continue some paperwork etc. fast-forward to when the whole thing is done and I move in. After a while I write my landlord saying "hey, I am paying more than I should. I read that it's also a retro-active law, meaning you have to lower the rent to the rent cap AND refund me of the difference I paid so far" (this is what a lot of people told me, too.. that the law is retro-active in some way). The landlord says "F" and then some kind of dispute begins. I might or might not get the money back but I like with a pissed landlord next door. - I am in but .. with a crosshair on my forehead (or not, maybe).

 

Scenario 3:

Like 2 but I tell the landlord half-way before signing. He then reacts like "you know what, I don't feel a great positive energy in this room. I have the right to change my mind, I decide you are not the right person to rent this." I do not get the unit. - I am out.

 

Scenario 4:

I call the authorities and report that there is a unit being rented over cap. I have no idea if these people can be punished just by letting the authorities know. I don't get to rent that apartment but maybe I bring justice to this world. Yay.

 

 

 

The above kinda serve me right as a different way of asking you the following:

1) How does the rent cap work in Berlin? How is the maximum per square meter calculated?

2) Is there really anything a person can use to put this rent cap to use or will the landlords simply say "no" to people who mention that before renting their unit?

3) Is the law retro-active for sure? Meaning: can I calculate the excess rent I am paying and demand a refund? Can this be applied to units on rent even before the law passed?

4) In the end, is this really of any help for someone looking for an apartment for rent or will the sharks of this city still have the upper hand? Did they ever have it, though (maybe I am biased against speculators?)

 

Thanks!

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The rent cap is called Mietspiegel. Try that with the search function. There are many existing threads on that subject where you may find your questions already answered.

 

You could also join your local Mietverein for very cheap advice since you will be renting at some point.

 

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On 6/14/2020, 12:39:39, fraufruit said:

The rent cap is called Mietspiegel. Try that with the search function. There are many existing threads on that subject where you may find your questions already answered.

 

You could also join your local Mietverein for very cheap advice since you will be renting at some point.

 

 

Thanks!

 

May I ask - if that's not a waste of time for you and with no pressure - what do you think in relation to the scenarios I've staged? I read around about the Mietspiegel and it's all great from a theoretical point of view. Some sites explain it awesomely and all that. However, maybe it's me but I am having trouble thinking that once those scenarios I've created are in place.. anything can be really done without some smudges. Maybe it's the price of the rents I've seen still unaware of this rent cap? I'd say it's weird as rents are really well done in Berlin especially.. right?

 

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If it is slightly furnished, the Mietspiegel doesn't apply.

 

Oh, you forgot scenario 5: bring along Chuck Norris :).

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I could be wrong but I've read that in Berlin Mietenspiegel or Mietendeckel only apply to buildings built in 2014 or before. I also read that there are ways around it, for example, providing a furnished apartment, but I have no direct experience with this.

 

I think it's safe to assume that in any of those scenarios, if you bring up the Mietenspiegel or Mietendeckel with any prospective landlord, that it would be a red flag, and they won't want to rent to you. You can also probably be sure that any halfway intelligent landlord would have a lawyer with expertise in the area review the lease and rent amount before renting the apartment out, to ensure what they are renting it for is legal.

 

In Berlin, landlords have the luxury of being choosy about to whom they rent to. A friend of mine recently had to hand over Schufa, 3 payslips, a bank statement, and a reference from a former tenant for both him and his wife before a viewing was even scheduled. This means that the landlord is going to have a clear picture of your financials, what type of tenant you will be, and will likely be working diligently on finding someone who won't have any issues paying the rent on time, and they'll likely get that if their apartment is in a sought after area.

 

I always see these ads for 'lower your rent' in Berlin and they claim to have helped a lot of people, so you can also try there. And of course as mentioned, the Mietverein will probably have a lot of info on these topics.

 

Best of luck!

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What some tenants do is rent a place where the landlord has illegally raised the rent and then use one those companies that fight rent increases so force the landlord to reduce the rent.

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Thanks everyone for the input: it seems I was spot on right in my scenarios. Thanks for confirming it.

I'll be sure to read any other contribution if you have it because this " theory vs practice" is something I could feed on forever and maybe consume my very flesh on it!

 

Chuck Norris is really in the end what we will all need in Berlin soon enough!

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