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Hamburg wants to limit increases in rents nationwide

Red-Green in Hamburg calls for better tenant protection in Germany.

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Hamburg wants to limit increases in rents nationwide

Red-Green in Hamburg calls for better tenant protection in Germany. With a joint motion, the governing parliamentary groups want the Senate to advocate an amendment to paragraph 558 of the German Civil Code at federal level. The paragraph regulates the amount to which landlords can raise rents without first renovating or refurbishing the apartments.

So far, the so-called capping limit has been 20 percent within three years. In areas with a housing shortage, it can be reduced to 15 percent.

The SPD and the Greens would like to reduce this “rent increase brake” in tense housing markets to eleven percent through a Federal Council initiative, as both parliamentary groups announced on Tuesday. The Hamburg Parliament will discuss an application on March 29th.

This means that the rent increase options would be even further below the current inflation rate.

The justification for the application states that the Federal Council initiative aims to achieve what the traffic light coalition has already agreed in its coalition agreement. Originally, a cap of eight percent was even said to have been discussed in the coalition negotiations.

In 2021, the inflation rate in Germany was still 3.1 percent.

"Especially in times of extremely rising heating costs, it is even more urgent to limit increases in cold rent," said Olaf Duge, spokesman for construction and housing for the Greens parliamentary group in Hamburg on Tuesday when the application was presented. With this one wants to “bring new wind into the process of lowering the cap limit.” However, since the basis for such regulations would be decided at federal level, “our scope in Hamburg is limited. Our responsibility lies above all in appealing to the bodies that have the power to act here.”

"Affordable housing is a fundamental right," said Martina Koeppen, spokeswoman for urban development for the SPD parliamentary group. That is why they are calling on Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) from Hamburg to quickly implement the agreement made in the traffic light coalition agreement.

In Hamburg, the cap limit of 15 percent applies throughout the city. To ensure that this remains the case until paragraph 558 is amended, the city must extend its ordinance on this. This would expire in August. With their application, the SPD and the Greens also want the Senate to issue a new regulation for another five years. Should the cap be lowered during this period, the lower percentage would apply.

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