Berlin tenants’ association calls for stricter conditions for personal use

No more self-use termination from the age of 60 or 20 in the apartment – this is what the Berlin tenants’ association demands in view of the trend it has noted in the capital.

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Mieter in Berlin are increasingly exposed to redundancies. This has been increasing for several years, said Wibke Werner, the deputy managing director of the Berlin tenants’ association, the German press agency. The background is that more and more apartments are being converted into property. “The termination for personal use goes hand in hand with it.”

In the ten years up to 2017 there were almost 96,000 such conversions, according to the current housing market report by the Investitionsbank Berlin. The trend increased, especially in younger years. This has to do with the shortage of housing and the sharp rise in rents in the city.

There are also legal reasons for the fact that there are more redundancies. “The protection of the tenants is low,” criticized the lawyer. In recent years, courts have steadily expanded the options for tenants to assert their own needs. They can even kick tenants out for the benefit of nieces and nephews.

More protection for senior citizens and long-term renters

The tenants’ association is therefore calling for corrections. Only partners or children of the owner should benefit from the termination. “We also want special reasons of hardship in terms of age and length of living.” From the age of 60 or after 20 years in the apartment, no tenant should fear being terminated for personal use. These people are mostly deeply rooted in their district, and moving often means losing this bond.

The tenants’ association sees alleged personal needs to get rid of tenants as an exception. “There are certainly black sheep who pretend to have their own needs.” However, this is not a widespread scam. “But that is irrelevant for the tenant,” explained the lawyer. “Once he’s out of the apartment, he’ll only be able to claim damages.”

The new rent index will also be presented in Berlin this Monday. For this purpose, the Senate, tenants ‘and landlords’ associations evaluate data from existing and new contracts from the past four years every two years. Anyone who receives a rent increase can check the rent index to see whether it is justified.

According to information from the “Tagsspiegel” (Tagsspiegel), the average net rent in the new rent index is now 6.72 euros. That would correspond to an increase of 2.5 percent compared to 2017. The previous edition of the rent index had registered an increase of 4.6 percent. A spokeswoman for building senator Katrin Lompscher (left) did not want to comment on the numbers.