Rent Control: What Berlin tenants need to know in 2020

In Berlin, the dream of an affordable flat has long been over for most flat seekers and tenants. The capital city is in the midst of a serious housing crisis. But tenants do not have to simply give in to the precarious situation: The Rent Control offers a secure legal basis for reducing excessive rents.

In short

  • In Berlin, the Rent Control applies to rental agreements signed since 1 June 2015.
  • The law applies in all Berlin districts.
  • If the net cold rent exceeds the comparable local rent applicable to the flat in question by more than 10 percent, Berlin tenants can apply the Rent Control.

Does the Rent Control apply in Berlin?

Unlike in many other German federal states, the Rent Control law "Mietpreisbremse" has been in force in Berlin without interruption since 1 June 2015.



How the law has developed

The Land of Berlin avoided the usual formal errors in enacting the law and in this way strengthened the rights of tenants in 2015 in a sustainable way. Since its introduction, the Rent Control in the capital has been able to withstand all complaints and lawsuits.

  • 28 April 2015: The Berlin Senate publishes the Rent Limitation Ordinance (MietBegrV Bln), together with its justification, on the website of the Berlin House of Representatives.
  • 1 June 2015: The Rent Control comes into force for new rentals throughout Berlin and is effective immediately.
  • 20 August 2019: The Federal Constitutional Court rejects the complaint of a Berlin landlord. She had previously been reprimanded by a tenant for excessive rent and was subsequently ordered to repay the rent by the Berlin Regional Court. The landlord then complained to the Federal Constitutional Court that the Rent Control violated the fundamental rights to property and freedom of action and was therefore unconstitutional. The judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court dismissing the complaint confirms that the Rent Control is in conformity with the constitution and does not violate the Basic Law.
  • 1 April 2020: The German government tightens the law on the Rent Control. In Berlin, too, this means that tenants whose tenancies have begun since April 2020 can reclaim up to 30 months' back rent paid in excess. At the same time, the German government is making it possible to extend the Rent Control until 2025.
  • 19 May 2020: The Berlin Senate again issues the well-founded Rent Control ordinance including tightening and extends the new Rent Control until the end of May 2025.



From when on does the law apply?

The Rent Control applies in Berlin to rental agreements concluded since 1 June 2015. It has been extended and is currently valid until 31 May 2025 inclusive. So if you as a tenant have signed a rental agreement since June 2015, you can assert your right and apply the Rent Control.



Is the Rent Control successful in Berlin?

Looking at the experience of Berlin tenants, the Rent Control has already helped many consumers in the capital to make considerable monthly savings. For example, a ruling by the Berlin-Neukölln district court was in the headlines in May 2019. The court's decision resulted in the Neukölln tenant receiving a repayment of over 4,000 euros from her landlord company Gabriel International. CONNY, formerly wenigermiete.de, represented the tenant in the trial.

Despite many successes, average rents in large cities such as Berlin continue to rise. Even large landlord companies such as Akelius, Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen often trade with inflated square metre prices. In order for the Rent Control to have a lasting effect on the capital's housing market for tenants, it should be applied more frequently. In this way, the local comparative rent can also remain at an affordable level and make rent reductions effective. There are many other good reasons to apply the Rent Control. CONNY helps you to enforce your rights easily and conveniently.

You would like to make
use of the Rent Control?
Check now without obligation,
whether your Berliner rent is too high.

Exceptions: When does the Rent Control not apply in Berlin?

In some cases the Rent Control cannot be applied. These exceptions are defined in the nationwide law on the Rent Control and also apply to Berlin:

  • Housing for which the previous tenants have already paid an excessive rent
  • Only temporarily rented accommodation
  • Leases signed before 1 June 2015
  • Rental flats that have been extensively modernised
  • New flats rented for the first time after 1 October 2014

In addition to these nationwide exceptions, the Land of Berlin has not defined any other cases in which the Rent Control does not apply. The law therefore also applies to furnished flats and contracts with graduated rents and index-linked rents.

Should you as a tenant be subject to one of the exceptions, we nevertheless recommend that you examine your individual case. Many landlords illegally try to circumvent the Rent Control, but are often unable to sufficiently prove the exceptions. For example, the landlord is obliged to provide a precise statement of the costs of refurbishment in order to be able to invoke the exception due to extensive modernisation.

If the landlord can actually invoke an exception, he is still not allowed to increase the rent at will. In Berlin, the cap prevents a rent increase of more than 15 percent within three years. Non-lawful rent increases can therefore also entitle you to a rent reduction.

How do I apply the Rent Control in Berlin?

Berlin tenants should take the following steps to successfully apply the Rent Control:

  1. Determining the maximum rent level: You can use our free rent index calculator to do this.
  2. Send a complaint to the landlord: Based on the calculation, you have learned that you are paying too much rent. Send a letter of complaint to your landlord.
  3. Demand proof of exception: The landlord invokes one of the exceptions to the Rent Control. You have the right to obtain appropriate evidence of this.
  4. Hire a lawyer or CONNY: Your landlord does not respond. Get legal support to assert yourself legally.



CONNY stands up for tenants' rights and has helped tenants to apply the Rent Control in thousands of cases. We help you too - now very simply & conveniently:

  1. Send us information about your flat
  2. We will check the maximum rental amount in your case free of charge
  3. If a reduction is possible, we pay a partner lawyer
  4. You only incur costs if CONNY is successful for you

Enforce Ret Control now!
Calculate now, without obligation, whether your Berlin
rent is too high and by how much you can reduce it.