City of Berlin Backs Plan To Freeze Rents For Five Years

The Berlin Senate on Tuesday approved a five-year rent freeze designed to tame soaring housing costs in the German capital, bowing to pressure from residents angry that their city has become unaffordable. From a report: Once described as “poor but sexy,” Berlin’s housing costs have doubled over the last decade as employees lured by the strong job market move into the city. The sharp rent hikes have led some residents to ponder radical solutions, including pushing for the seizure of housing stock from landlords. Berlin’s city government agreed on Tuesday on the outlines of a draft law that would include a temporary freeze on rents for five years from 2020, with a bill to be drafted. The cap means “protection against rent increases for 1.5 million apartments,” tweeted the Berlin government’s department for urban development and housing. Under the plan, landlords who seek to raise rates because of renovation work will also have to seek official approval for any increases above 50 cents (44p) per sq metre (11 sq ft).

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