berlin rental reduction - anyone took advantage so far?

14 posts in this topic

Hi All,

 

I am wondering if anyone took advantage from rental discount in Berlin after the law taken?

 

I am over paying to my rent. My landlord, which is a company, is saying that they are following everything in this regard, so I don't need to worry about it. However, they do not even mention discount. I am not sure what should I do. I also don't want to have bad relationship with my landlord

 

Thanks in advance. 

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Join a Mieterverein. That way you'll have legal help and someone to back you up in future disputes with your landlord.

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That's my another question. If the rental discount and freeze is real, why would I need legal help from Mieterverein? I mean my landlord should automatically reduce the rent according to the law (I might be being too naive).

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I'm pretty sure you have to ask for a discount or whatever. Why would they just offer it? Most people are able to pay the full amount.

 

If you need help, ask for it.

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37 minutes ago, nanay said:

That's my another question. If the rental discount and freeze is real, why would I need legal help from Mieterverein? I mean my landlord should automatically reduce the rent according to the law (I might be being too naive).

 

Should and will aren't the same thing.  Your landlord may not be aware of a discount and freeze or if they are, they may well ignore it unless you ask or even unless you ask through a lawyer.  So you've already asked and they told you not to worry.  Next step, you could ask them specifically about a discount and print out some links for them to read in case they aren't aware.  If they still tell you not to worry, you can join the mieterverein and ask them to help you write them a letter.

 

It's basically a good idea to be a member of the mieterverein when you rent.  It isn't that expensive and they will help you with legal advice and writing letters.  They will even help you in court if you join them before the problem arose that you are going to court for.  That's why it's better to join sooner rather than later.

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I´d also consider paying part of the rent under reservation to make sure you have a right to claim back in case the law survives the legal challenge (which I believe and hope it won´t).

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OP- Do use TT search function with words- landlord problems, rent issues, etc.  You will find a wealth of reasons to join the Mieterverein! 

Low annual cost for advice as a renter.

 

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42 minutes ago, jeba said:

I´d also consider paying part of the rent under reservation to make sure you have a right to claim back in case the law survives the legal challenge (which I believe and hope it won´t).

 

What do you mean? Pay the whole rent with part under reservation? I don't understand. If one can do that, one can afford the rent.

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16 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

What do you mean? Pay the whole rent with part under reservation? I don't understand. If one can do that, one can afford the rent.

 

| think it means "unter Vorbehalt", meaning you are paying it but you are explicitly stating that you disagree it is the right amount. Many people pay the TV license and the Solidaritätszuschlag "unter Vorbehalt" to reserve themselves the right to claim some or part of the payment if a court ever rules that the fee and the tax were illegal all along. I am not sure how that works technically though.

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It's not about being able to pay or about covid this time.  The new law in Berlin is not just stopping landlords from raising the rent for the next 5 years, it also has discounts if the tenant is paying more rent than some defined amount.  I'm not really into the details but I'm sure if the OP joins the mieterverein, they can give the correct info on how the law applies in their case and whether they can get the rent lowered or past rent increases rolled back.

 

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

 

What do you mean? Pay the whole rent with part under reservation? I don't understand. If one can do that, one can afford the rent.

No, just the part he may be able to claim back if the law is sacked. Who knows how long it will take (statute of limitations!) and whether you´ll be able to claim a refund?

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I think there's two issues being discussed here.

 

Jebe is talking about the rental cap that the Berlin Senate instituted a while back. This law prevents landlords from raising the rent for the next 5 years, and it's applied uniformly across Berlin - which means that all Landlords must comply with it. The problem is that the Berlin law is currently being contested at a Federal level (if my understanding is correct) and so many LLs, including ours, are sending letters that say:


"We're compelled by law not to raise the rent, but be aware that that law might well be overturned, in which case you'll have to pay back the amount that would have been subject to the incremental rise that was written into your contract. We therefore suggest you put aside that extra portion each month in preparation for payback."

 

The OP was asking about a related matter - coming into effect later this year - which is that your rent can be reduced in some circumstances if it is over and above the rental index (the Berliner Mietspiegel). Those circumstances are pretty complex and include the average rent in the area you live in; the age and condition of your apartment and whether the LL has made certain improvements to the heating and energy efficiency of the building.

 

It's possible calculate your eligibility using a Mietendeckelrechner (or rent cap calculator) here on the web site of the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen:

 

https://www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de/wohnen/mietspiegel/index.shtml

 

...but this is only part of the process. You must write a letter to the LL, stating your claim, and they (or their lawyers) will likely respond with a counter-claim in highly technical language, explaining how your calculations are wrong. Nevertheless, it might be worth proceeding and that's where you really need the backing of a Mieterverein - for instance:

 

https://www.berliner-mieterverein.de/mietendeckel/the-berlin-rent-cap.htm

 

The link will take you to a page in English that explains in more detail everything I've said above about rental reductions and rental caps.

 

In addition, there are also private companies who will help you apply for a rental reduction. The one I know is called conny.legal who, as far as I know, charge a percentage of the reduced rent as a fee.

 

The stage that we are currently at is that we sent the LL our claim for a reduction and received a rebuttal. We've now signed power of attorney to the Mieterverein and will wait for them to take the next steps.

 

We've been pretty careful to correspond politely with the LLs and make them understand that we are simply following professional advice to secure whatever rights we might be legally entitled to (i.e., nothing personal). If it doesn't work out, then so be it.

 

It's all a bit more complicated than I'd like but I hope this info helps anyway.

 

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