Rent brake: the Federal Council does not initially vote on the proposal

A proposal drawn up by Hamburg for more tenant protection in areas with a tight housing market will not be pursued any further for the time being.

Berlin – A federal council vote originally planned for this Friday on the initiative, which Bremen had joined, was taken off the agenda at short notice by the state chamber at Hamburg’s request. With the design from the red-green ruled Hanseatic city, the aim was to deprive landlords of the possibility of circumventing the so-called rent brake by furnishing living space or renting it out on a temporary basis.

According to the proposal, landlords should be obliged to separately state the net rent and the furniture surcharge levied by them in the lease. The amount of this surcharge should also be stipulated by law. For tenants, this would offer the opportunity to check whether the rent demanded exceeds the local comparative rent by more than ten percent and thus violates the provisions of the rent brake. In addition, the draft provided for a regulation that was intended to prevent rental contracts from being concluded for a limited time only so that the rental price brake does not apply here.

According to the ideas of Hamburg and Bremen, leases of six months or longer should no longer be considered short-term leases. The same should apply to chains of fixed-term short-term contracts.

A spokeswoman for the Hamburg urban development authority said on request: “In terms of content, we are sticking to our goal of stopping loopholes in the rent brake.” However, it is currently being examined which way this goal can best be achieved. She did not want to say whether the tactical retreat might be related to the ongoing coalition talks to form a coalition of the SPD, Greens and FDP.

The outgoing federal government of Union and SPD had already improved the rental price brake elsewhere. The federal states decide whether the housing market in an area is considered to be tense. The rent brake applies to re-letting, but not to new buildings and not to the first re-letting after extensive modernization. (dpa)

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