In Brief: Berlin passes the first rent cap law in Germany

On Thursday in Berlin's parliament, 85 representatives voted for the new rent control legislation, 64 against, and one person abstained.

Photo by George Becker on Pexels

 

 

Berlin is the first federal state to pass a rent cap law, placing upper limits on what landlords can charge renters.

A majority of members of parliament voted in favor of the law at noon on Thursday.

During the debate ahead of the vote, CDU faction leader Burkard Dregger had said he expects the cap to fail when challenged in the Constitutional Court.

“Their so-called rent cap law will not stand up to scrutiny by the Constitutional Court,” Dregger said. “How bitter this will be for the tenants, in the end the tenants will be exposed to rent demands, because the rent cap law is already unconstitutional due to the lack of legislative competence of the state.”

The new rent cap law is set to officially be published in two weeks time, then the rent freeze can come into effect. It will also apply retroactively from June 2019.

Over the next several months, landlords will be required to provide Berlin tenants with detailed information comparing their previous rents with a new calculation for future capped rent.

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For months farmers have been protesting with their tractors on the streets, in Berlin and elsewhere across Germany. Now the Grand Coalition has agreed on billions in aid for farmers.

The funds will be administered to provide an economic buffer for new stricter rules on the use of fertilizers that will come into effect.

In a statement, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner welcomed the coalition’s agreement. She said, “Implementing these new requirements will incur costs. It shouldn’t be up to the farmers to shoulder the burden alone.”

KCRW Berlin has reported on the debate over the future of agricultural policy in Germany. For a detailed look into the latest on the issue, listen to the Studio Berlin broadcast from January 25.

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Stricter rules could soon apply to e-scooters. Germany’s federal traffic committee is discussing options, at Berlin’s request.

According to the Berliner Morgenpost, it’s possible that changes could be made which would enable municipalities to set limits on the fleet allowed, as well as introduce new parking restrictions.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk. This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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