The above graph shows how rent in various German cities changed in the last ten years. Berlin’s rent increased more than the other cities.
As the capital of Germany, Berlin inevitably has high rent. To prevent a spike in rent due to gentrification, Berlin implemented a rent control law called mietpreisbremse. The law limits new rental contracts from charging a rent higher than 10% above the current median rent. New developments are exempted from this calculation. The rent control law allows for gradual price increases while protecting tenants at the same time.
This law caused the average rent in Berlin to decrease by 3.1% since June. The law successfully did what it was meant to, but will it last? Berlin passed many laws before that were in the favor of tenants such as: long term contracts with minor rent increases periodically, no vacation rentals, eviction from an apartment must have a valid reason, etc. People worry whether the rent control law would cause a shortage in apartments, but the government is already working on building 30,000 new rental apartments in the next ten years.
Berlin’s rent control law seems to be working, so people wonder if this can be applied to other major cities such as New York. Berlin has 64% renters and New York has a higher percentage of renters at 69%, but Berlin’s laws are much more pro-tenant than New York. New York has some rent control laws, but apartments less than a certain rent do not need to be regulated. New York needs to step up to its game compared to Berlin. Maybe New York can create its own rent control law called meatpiesparmesan.
Photo Credit: http://www.zeit.de/