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Residing in Berlin – discussion meeting of the senate administration of the urban development on the current and future leasing and housing policy.

Jakoby Rechtsanwälte

Taking up on the invitation of the senate administration of urban development of Berlin, the event “Residing in Berlin” concerning the current and future leasing and housing policy took place on May 21st, 2012. The aim of the event was to depict the variety of living and demands on living space in Berlin. In short given lectures the representatives of the great associations of Berlin and of small interest groups had the opportunity to explain their views on that issue. Afterwards the senator of the urban development and environment, Mr. Michael Müller, stated his opinion and all participants were given the possibility to ask the senator questions during a small panel discussion. The event was especially interesting for the Jakoby Rechtsanwälte due to the fact that current issues and future development of the lease and real estate policy on Berlin’s rent and property market could be elaborated. The main emphasis of the discussion were the currently increasing rents and the fear that this would lead to a driving out of the neighborhood.

These issues contribute to extensive claims of the representatives of the renters in the field of leasing policy, for example a claim to introduce a capping limit for new lettings, more emphasis on inventory rents at future rent indexes, as well as an introduction or extension of misuse prohibitions. According to the opinion of the representatives of the renters, these misuse prohibitions should not only affect the usage as a holiday flat but also the transformation from rented flats into condominiums. In order to stop the increase of the lease the representatives of the renters claim a new real property policy and suggest replacing the disposal of the real estate with the explanation of the hereditary building rights. The cooperative society are supposed to experience a Renaissance in future because, according to the views of the renters’ representatives, owners who orientate due to the return as well as the free trade with real estate are mainly responsible for the increase of rents.

These manifold problems of the real estate owners and potential investors regarding the establishment of real property were unfortunately only being discussed briefly. The major problem though is the general insecurity about investments. This insecurity derives from uncertainty about the legal situation regarding protection of historical monument as well as regarding the building law. Moreover an increase in the willingness of avoidance regarding the building permit from the neighbors has been identified. A further issue of the investors is the labor shortage in the district’s building control department, which leads to delays in receiving the application for permission to build.

All in all a divergence in the interests of renters and owners is determined and a decrease in tensions in Berlin’s real estate market is not to anticipate in the near future. The senate administration plans further discussion events, which will hopefully take even better account of the current necessities of the actors of the market. These occurring issues will only be able to be solved in a concrete case.