Legal action against the Berlin rent cap

Members of the Bundestag from the CDU/CSU and FDP parties filed a lawsuit against the Berlin rent cap with the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

The members of parliament consider the Berlin state law to be an encroachment on the legislative competence of the federal government. At the end of January, the Berlin House of Representatives, with the government majority of SPD, Greens and Left Party, had frozen rents in Berlin for five years. Only new buildings with first-time occupancy starting in 2014 and publicly subsidized apartments are exempt from this. Rents above the fixed ceilings are to be lowered at the end of November 2020.

The Berlin rent cap has economically catastrophic consequences. Many landlords are private individuals who want to provide for their old age with real estate. Urgently needed new construction and refurbishment will be prevented. Well-earning tenants with renovated old apartments in prime locations benefit as socially weak tenants in less sought-after locations.

With an abstract action for review of a legal norm, an applicant can have the constitutionality of a legal norm reviewed independently of a concrete legal dispute and of his own involvement. The application can only be filed by the federal government, a state government or a quarter of the members of the Bundestag.