In Brief: Housing company reverses rent increases for Berlin tenants in accordance with ‘Mietendeckel’ law

The Berlin Tenants’ Association says more reversals are expected but warns there is still a risk that lawsuits against the rent cap will end up making it unconstitutional.

Photo by Mollie Lemm

By Sylvia Cunningham and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

Tenants in Spandau and Reinickendorf are among the first to experience the effects of Berlin’s controversial “Mietendeckel” law, which freezes most rents in the city over the next five years.

The state-owned housing company Gewobag reversed 1,000 rent increases, which had been raised despite the freeze.

Reiner Wild from the Berlin Tenants’ Association says he expects more such reversals, but he adds that people should not go spending that money quite yet. There is still a risk that lawsuits against the rent cap will end up making it unconstitutional.

The tenants’ association expects the court will rule within the next 18 months.

***

One of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is the cancellation of public gatherings and conventions across Germany. 

Among the canceled events is an international convention for firms specializing in logistics solutions that was scheduled next week in Stuttgart. More than 1,600 vendors were planning to take part.

Such cancellations have led gastronomy and hotel lobbyists to demand financial help from the federal government. A spokeswoman for their trade association told Funke media group that the coronavirus shouldn’t be allowed to destroy livelihoods.

Meanwhile, local officials said they have started an information campaign for refugees living and arriving in Berlin about the virus. Precautions people can take to protect themselves from the virus are posted in a variety of languages and pictures on bulletin boards and in bathrooms at refugee centers across Berlin.

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

By the way – If you love our content, please consider donating to KCRW Berlin. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by supporters like you. Your donation supports our programming and events, feeding a flourishing English language community with local news, information and ideas.