2020-07-28 | Renting in Berlin – What Landlords and Tenants should know
Renting in Berlin – What Landlords and Tenants should know
In our live chat, your questions about the practice of renting apartments in Berlin under the rental cover will be answered. We also discuss the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on the rental apartment market and the current situation for prospective tenants. Another topic will be the expected development on the housing market.
Our expert is Yiannis Tzakris.
Mr. Tzakris is COO of BLP Management GmbH based in Berlin Charlottenburg. He looks after hundreds of private landlords who rent out and manage their apartments in Berlin. More information about LETTING & MANAGEMENT can be found → here.
Achim Amann: What happens in practice with regard to the rent cap, especially in the case of graduated tenancy agreements?
Yiannis Tsakris: Since 18 June 2019, all tenancy agreements have been frozen, which means that nothing may be changed. At the moment, everything is therefore at a standstill and we are waiting for a final legal decision.
Achim Amann: What do owners and landlords currently have to do?
Yiannis Tsakris: In existing tenancy agreements, tenants must be informed about certain things.
Achim Amann: What is the reaction of the tenants?
Yiannis Tsakris: Some tenants ask us what this means for them and whether their rent will change. So far, we have only given out the information we are obliged to, as we ourselves do not know exactly how the whole thing will develop. Overall, however, we have received less feedback from tenants than expected.
Achim Amann: What is the procedure for new lettings?
Yiannis Tsakris: The law will apply to all new leases from February 2020. This means that since then the rent may not exceed a certain value. There is an official table for this.
|Number||First-time occupancy of the flat and equipment||Rental price per square metre|
|1||until 1918 with collective heating and with bathroom||6,45 Euro|
|2||until 1918 with collective heating or with bathroom||5,00 Euro|
|3||until 1918 without collective heating, without bathroom||3,92 Euro|
|4||1919 to 1949 with collective heating and with bathroom||6,27 Euro|
|5||1919 to 1949 with collective heating or with bathroom||5,22 Euro|
|6||1919 to 1949 without collective heating, without bathroom||4,59 Euro|
|7||1950 to 1964 with collective heating and with bathroom||6,08 Euro|
|8||1950 to 1964 with collective heating or with bathroom||5,62 Euro|
|9||1965 to 1972 with collective heating and with bathroom||5,95 Euro|
|10||1973 to 1990 with collective heating and with bathroom||6,04 Euro|
|11||1991 to 2002 with collective heating and with bathroom||8,13 Euro|
|12||2003 to 2013 with collective heating and with bathroom||9,80 Euro|
- if the living space is in buildings with no more than two flats, the rent ceiling shall be increased by a surcharge of ten percent.
- the rent ceiling shall be increased by 1 euro for living space with modern fittings. Modern equipment is deemed to exist if the living space has at least three of the following five features: 1) a passenger lift accessible without thresholds from the flat and from the entrance to the building, 2) a fitted kitchen, 3) high-quality sanitary equipment, 4) high-quality floor covering in the majority of the living spaces and/or 5) an energy consumption index of less than 120 kWh/(m²a).
Achim Amann: How do landlords behave in practice?
Yiannis Tsakris: In practice, almost all landlords take the risk and do not comply with the rent cap. In most cases, the difference between the "market rent" and the cap rent is taken as rent security in case the law is declared invalid.
Achim Amann: Is short-term rental worth it?
Yiannis Tsakris: The legal situation is the same, the advantage with short-term rental is the flexibility for the owner. So, it depends on the intentions of the owner and the size of the flat. For owners of a small flat as an investment, it can be worthwhile.
Achim Amann: Are then the short-term contracts for furnished flats all currently illegal?
Yiannis Tsakris: Not necessarily. For example, there could be a commercial lease. This must always be examined on a case-by-case basis.
Achim Amann: What has changed through Corona?
Yiannis Tsakris: The biggest problem for landlords is that there is less influx. Small furnished flats, the typical "first homes" are therefore more difficult to rent. Otherwise, however, Corona has not had a major impact on the market.
Achim Amann: Are there fewer foreigners coming to Berlin and are prices falling as a result?
Yiannis Tsakris: Maybe, but that's only for the short term. I think it will return to normal after the pandemic. But even now we are still getting requests from new arrivals.