Rental reform

Landlords and Tenants Locked in Dispute

Happy renters Source Gregor Schlaeger Visum
But what does the index say it's worth?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If the benchmark rent index is toppled, rents in major cities might skyrocket and put a government draft for a rent-cap law in danger.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • About 24 million flats are rented out in Germany, with 51 million people living in them.
    • The Mietspiegel is a benchmark rent index and forms the basis of most rental agreements in Germany.
    • Most of Germany’s 300,000 annual rental disputes concern renovations, operating costs and rent.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The verdict is delivered in front of an empty courtroom in Charlottenburg, Berlin, as if it has no implications for the rest of Germany. Judge Silke Kullmann hands down her decision about the potentially most important number in today’s overheated residential rental market.

“The court assumes that the rent index in dispute here has not been created based on scientific principles,” she says. In other words, the so-called Mietspiegel, the benchmark residential rent index that gives an idea of prices for all major German cities, is not applicable to this court case anymore.

The decision was handed down in November, but it might mark the end of peaceful relations between tenants and landlords in Germany.

What the district judge ruled in this case affects all 50 million tenants in Germany. And Berlin’s rent index was supposed to be the best in the country, a model for many other indices.

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