Immigrants in Germany often find themselves paying an unjustified high rent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a better deal – even if you’ve already signed the lease. Here’s how to reduce the housing price in Germany.
When you are looking for housing in a competitive rental market, it may seem like the only option is to pay whatever rent the owner asks for. In fact, the housing rental market in Germany is highly regulated and knowing your rights you will often get a fairer rate.
See Mietpreisbremse Leasing Law
In the summer of 2015, Germany introduced a law to limit how much residential landlords can charge above average rent or Mietspiegel with the aim of slowing down the pace of rental increases, Mietpreisbremse states that new leases cannot exceed 10 percent of the average price the apartment is in the area.
You might ask why even though this law exists, you still hear about people paying the exorbitant rent? That is because the law has a fatal flaw; It does not punish landlords who do not follow it , which is why many ignore it. As a result, publicly available data shows that every second lease in Germany is illegal.
For expats, the situation is worse. Tenants’ rights portal wenigermiete.de analysed more than 2,500 leases submitted to its website and found that 83 percent had an illegally high rent.
The reason for this is not entirely clear but it may be because German property owners realise that many expats do not know their rights and are therefore unaware that they are paying too much for housing rentals in Germany.
So how do you reduce the housing price in Germany?
Knowing about Mietpreisbremse is the first step towards making sure you get a fair deal when signing a rental agreement. It is never too late to turn to him even if you have already signed the lease agreement, you can still do something if you discover that your rent is too high.
Read more information on German Laws and legislation here: Legal News and Guides – Germany
If the rent is illegally high, you don’t have to stay calm and cut your losses. German Tenancy Law gives preference to the tenant and there are several ways to reduce the amount you pay.
First of all, there is a team at the internet portal / legal technology startup based in Berlin wenigermiete. de – It is part of Conny GmbH. Once you fill out their online questionnaire to determine if you qualify for a rental reduction, they process your case from there. The site calculates the savings based on the official rental index for each city and about 30-50 detailed questions regarding your apartment.
If you answer the questions accurately, then there is a good chance that you will be able to save the calculated amount. The portal team will work on your behalf to reduce the rent, and will represent you in court if necessary. Only pay if they succeed and even then their fees come from the security deposit you have already paid to your landlord.
In addition, you can contact a local tenants’ union, which will help you communicate with the landlord and challenge the illegal contract yourself. Often this includes attending appointments on site. If the landlord does not respond, the rental association will refer you to a lawyer. This may cost you $ 150, although the association in Berlin often waives the fees.
Your third option is to get a lawyer from the start. Just be aware that even an initial consultation can cost up to € 190 an hour, and that’s just to assess whether or not you have the condition. It’s not uncommon for people to pay just 190 euros to a lawyer who advises them not to take action because their case has little chance of success.
Don’t be afraid to end the contract
It is understandable that there is a concern that arguing over your contract could lead a landlord to terminate the lease or stop maintaining the property. But in fact, it does not have the legal capacity to do so.
If your lease is with a real estate company and you comply with all contractual obligations, they cannot legally cancel your lease. If you are renting from a private property owner, the legal termination can only take place on the basis that the landlord needs the property for himself or his family members.
Many conditions must be met in order for owners to be able to claim the property for their own use and notices such as these from private property owners can often be blocked. Wenigermiete.de will review these and other termination notices for you .
Most landlords already know that they are violating the leasehold law. They will be careful if they receive a letter signed by a lawyer, so wenigermiete.de ensures that each claim letter is signed by an attorney who works closely with the portal.
Rejection of unjustified rent increases
Rest assured when renting in Germany there are laws in place to protect you, but you need to know to use them to your advantage.
If your landlord asks for a sharp raise, check out Mietspiegel. Don’t accept anything without asking for an owner’s justification and checking if it makes sense and within legal limits.
You should know that the law also prohibits rental spikes over a short period of time. Landlords are not allowed to increase rent in Germany by more than 15 percent over a period of three years, and it still cannot exceed the rent index (the same rent indicator used to control rent but without applying the 10 percent addition). Wenigermiete.de also helps you check rental increase and dispute letters.
You are also protected if your rental property gets repaired or upgraded. Until recently, landlords were able to recover 11 percent of the cost of repairs or renovations, but as of 2019, they can only recover eight percent annually. This has been one of the biggest problems for renters in Germany who will find themselves unable to pay the unexpected increase in rent.
If you suspect that your rental contract is in violation of the German Tenancy Limitation Act, you can call the toll-free hotline wenigermiete.de at 030 8632-8934-0 (Mon-Fri 9am to 7pm)