Federal Constitutional Court declares Berlin rent caps unconstitutional

It's a heavy defeat for the red-red-green Senate in Berlin: After a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe the state was not entitled to cap rents in Berlin by law. Since the federal government had already decided on the rent brake in 2015, the legislative power lies exclusively with it, according to the decision published on Thursday.

The Berliner rent cap was unique in Germany, the law passed by the red-red-green coalition was initially limited to 2025. On February 23, 2020, the existing rents for 1,5 million apartments in the capital were frozen - to the level of June 2019. In the event that tenants change, the law stipulates that the old rent will remain or upper limits apply. Rents that are more than 20 percent above the upper limit for the apartment were considered too high. Since November 23, affected landlords have been legally obliged to lower them. Violations could result in a fine of up to 500.000 euros. The rent cap did not apply to new apartments that were completed from 2014 onwards. The regulation was limited to five years, i.e. until 2025.

Two urgent decisions on the provisional entry into force of partial regulations failed in Karlsruhe last year. The Bundesverfassungsgericht At that time, however, did not generally decide on the constitutionality of the rent cap. The Berlin Constitutional Court suspended proceedings in autumn to await the decision from Karlsruhe. The review by the Federal Constitutional Court was initiated by more than 280 members of the Bundestag from the FDP and the Union, with a joint legal review application. The Berlin regional court and a district court, where landlords have sued, also considered the regulations to be unconstitutional and switched Karlsruhe on. (Az. 2 BvF 1/20 etc.)