Those who move less often rent cheaper

Many owners use tenant changes to raise prices. In the current tenancy, however, some private landlords have so far been reluctant to make increases. But that is also changing right now.

Apartments in the Berlin district of Marzahn

JThe longer tenants live in their apartment, the less their housing costs rise. This is the result of a survey by the owners’ association Haus und Grund among private landlords. Anyone who has signed a rental agreement in the past five years will therefore pay around 2.2 percent more than the local comparable rent. But those who have lived in their apartment for 5 to 10 years are almost 4 percent less. With 10 to 20 years of living it is about 7 percent less than the comparable rent.

“The private landlords have so far been reluctant to increase the rent in the current tenancy,” says association president Kai Warnecke. According to him, tenants change on average every eight years. But the rate of those who also increase the rent in an ongoing contract has been increasing for several years. The association sees the reason in the political discussion: some landlords increase quickly before it is perhaps no longer possible. “If everyone is obviously trying to freeze rents, then that wakes one or the other out of the rent increase lethargy,” says Warnecke.

Haus und Grund surveyed around 2000 members with a total of 5800 apartments in nine cities: Düsseldorf, Gelsenkirchen, Kassel, Lübeck, Magdeburg, Munich, Osnabrück, Pirmasens and Tübingen. The selection is representative of Germany.

Warnecke said the 3.9 million private landlords could play a bigger role in tackling housing shortages in many cities. They offer two thirds of all rental apartments in Germany. Cities’ efforts, however, focused on municipal companies, cooperatives and investors. “As a private builder, you hardly get any building land,” criticized the association representative. Instead, building land falls into the hands of speculators.