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Housing policy : real estate companies expropriate - is that even possible?

In April, is set to launch in Berlin a petition for the expropriation of large real estate companies. According to a survey by the opinion research Institute Civey, 55 percent of Berlin was the right one. Very controversial is whether such an expropriation would be legally and financially possible.

What is planned and how will it be financed?

it is Required to expropriate all of the Berlin-based company "with a view to profit", with more than 3000 apartments, in return for compensation, and the municipalized housing stock in a public-Law institution (AöR). The state of Berlin will contribute 20% of the amount of compensation as a capital contribution in the AöR, the Rest is to be procured by credit. If necessary, secured by a state guarantee.

The Initiative, the referendum, prepared, maintains a compensation below the market value of the apartments, it is legally possible for. It is at 190000 affected apartments from a low two-digit billion amount. A model calculation, the dimensions of the action guess: an average of 50 square meters of the affected apartment, and a price of 3000 euros per square metre, they would have a total of almost 30 billion Euro.

The Senate is preparing an official cost estimate. In any case, the compensation sum would be the state budget, but also the input balance of the AöR heavy burden. The basic law provides in article 14, only a General framework, the country would have to legally be filled in. In the foreseeable legal dispute between the Senate and the investors, the Federal constitutional court will have the last word.

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What is expropriation?

expropriation is the complete or partial withdrawal of the property by the state. Article 14 of the basic law protects the property although expressly allows for withdrawal, but under strict conditions: The state is allowed to change it only for the benefit of the General public. Including a particularly serious public interests are understood to serve the common good. Including the road construction or the construction of supply lines, for example.

An expropriation may only be done by a law or by an administrative act, which is based in turn on the basis of a law. Any expropriation, establishes a reasonable claim for compensation, usually in money. The nature and extent of the compensation must already be in the underlying law, otherwise the expropriation is unconstitutional. In determining the compensation of the interests of the stakeholders and the General public are to be weighed fairly against each other.

A complete compensation is not mandatory.

A further deprivation of possibility of article 15 of the basic law: Therefore, the land can be transferred for the purpose of socialization through a law in public ownership or other forms of public enterprise. Also in this case, the compensation scheme applies. A consequence of this so-called socialization is that the goods serve not strive for private profit. Instead, the use is to directly benefit the General public.

What companies and how many homes are affected?

It's going to be about 190 000 apartments in Berlin. Be expropriated according to the will of the people's desire, the Initiative, all companies with more than 3000 apartments. This is true for the largest five private housing companies in the capital: Deutsche Wohnen (about 110000 apartments), Vonovia (more than 40000), Akelius (about 11000), ADO Properties (approximately 24000) and Grand City Property (about 4000). The apartments are spread over the entire urban area and are often located in special settlements, which were once created for low-income earners or certain other rights groups such as railway workers or employees. Therefore, people with lower incomes often live there until today.

What does this mean for the housing market and the tenant?

the impact on The General housing market would be expected to be low. Only a slight increase in damping of the Berlin rent index would be expected. The Rent of the affected apartments would not decrease, but more slowly on the rise. Also municipal housing companies have to generate profits – in a space of the high compensation sums would have to be at least partially passed on to the Rent.

the tenant would be protected in communal apartments, but much better prior to extrusion. In contrast to exchange-listed companies such as Deutsche Wohnen and Vonovia are not obligated to the public housing companies the maximum return on investment. Since 2017, you may in Berlin, the Rent over lifting contracts, only a maximum of two percent per year. After a modernisation, to a maximum of six percent of the cost may be the rent allocated in the private housing sector, eleven per cent. In addition, the 60 percent shall be annually vacated apartments by assisted living certificate of eligibility (WBS). In addition, tenants are protected by the "Urban" in front of the Explosion of in addition to more cost-effective. According to the "mirror" is about Vonovia through lending to subsidiaries, particularly expensive services around the house.

How are the experiences?

The provision of housing at a reasonable rent belongs to the public services of General interest. In order to ensure this, the state has two important instruments: The promotion of social housing and municipal housing companies. In the mid-nineties belonged to the municipal housing companies in Berlin 420000 apartments. At the time, an extremely controversial business were sold, because the city was almost bankrupt, with the Gehag and the GSW in the past decade by a red-red coalition of two large land companies. Approximately 130000 homes were privatized, a large part of this stock today is part of Deutsche Wohnen.

Also, the portfolio of classical social housing has shrunk severely, because every year, thousands of occupancy commitments expire. Therefore, the public housing sector is able to fulfil its task as a corrective to the largely private housing market only to a limited extent. Especially since the property education hardly plays a role: 86Prozent of Berliners rent. Of the 1.6 million rental apartments 310000 include just the six municipal housing societies.

What tools are available?

Once the "rent brake", which has so far proved largely ineffective. Theoretically, the rent is allowed to be in the re-rental (not new build) not more than ten percent above the local comparative rent. In addition, landlords need to place unsolicited, and in writing, how much the rent was demanded by the previous tenant. However, there are many loopholes.

The most effective tool is currently areas, the preparation of the "Social Conservation" ( environmental protection areas). In Berlin, there are 68, with a rising trend. There, the owners can be difficult mietsteigernde measures or completely prohibited. This luxury renovation, the balcony and a Lift attachment or the planned merging of the apartments. The conversion to condominiums is subject to approval.

In the case of a house sale, the new owner may agree in an "avoidance arrangement" of such measures. He does not, this can be exercised by the district of its right of first refusal. A municipal housing company must act as a buyer and the house. Because of the high real estate prices, is increasingly difficult.

More about

expropriation of real estate companies in Berlin the reason

Antje Sirleschtov

A role in the public promotion of Housing plays, of course. the was introduced in Berlin in 2014. Since then, however, were encouraged, only about 6700 homes, in the past year, slightly more than half, or 3500. Each year, the number of subsidized homes is expected to rise to 500. The programs are expensive, it comes to three-digit million sums. The Federal government is involved in the complex funding systems.

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