“Extension unconstitutional”: Owners want to sue against rent control

“Extension unconstitutional”
Owners want to sue against rent controls

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After a long dispute, the traffic light agreed to extend the rent control for another five years. The homeowners’ association sees this as a breach of the constitution and wants to take legal action against it in Karlsruhe.

The owners’ association Haus und Grund wants to go to the Federal Constitutional Court against the planned extension of the rent cap. Association President Kai Warnecke announced this in the “Bild” newspaper. “The Federal Constitutional Court only accepted the first rent brake because it was limited to five years. With the second extension, the traffic light government is clearly violating the constitution,” said Warnecke. “That’s why Haus und Grund Germany will bring the renewed extension of the rent cap to the Federal Constitutional Court.”

The traffic light coalition had agreed to extend the rent control in tense housing markets beyond 2025 until 2029. Where it applies, the rent cap ensures that when a new rental agreement is concluded, the rent may in principle not be more than ten percent above the local comparative rent. The respective state government decides whether the rent control applies in certain areas. The Karlsruhe judges ruled in 2019 that the rent cap for particularly desirable residential areas was not constitutionally objectionable. The rules introduced in 2015 did not violate the guarantee of ownership, freedom of contract or the general principle of equality, the court found at the time.

Warnecke criticized in “Bild” that the rent cap had massively exacerbated the housing shortage. “Since the introduction of the rent cap, the number of missing apartments has been increasing. There are now said to be almost 900,000. It is clear that the rent cap is primarily to the detriment of tenants who are looking for an affordable apartment,” said the head of the association.

Buschmann prevents further tightening

The SPD and the Greens had wanted further changes to tenancy law, some of which are also in the coalition agreement. However, the liberal Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann, who is responsible for tenancy law, has not yet agreed to any changes to the maximum increase in existing rents within a certain period of time (cap limit) or to the further development of the rent index.

“There is still a need for discussion between the coalition partners on the other tenancy law projects, in particular the lowering of the cap limit and the modifications to the rent index, given the rapidly increasing construction, repair and refinancing costs,” Buschmann told “Welt”. The FDP politician had already said that the SPD and the Greens should not consider banning index rental agreements with him.

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