The changes to the German rental laws agreed on Wednesday were designed to encourage landlords to renovate their buildings to improve insulation and reduce energy use.
Now tenants will have to pay increased rent for the installation of new heating systems and other, “construction changes by which primary energy will be saved,” the law says, according to a report in the Tagesspiegel newspaper on Wednesday.
Payment of reduced rent during building works will also be limited in the future – the new law provides for this to kick in only after three months of noise and dust.
Tenants who cannot pay increased rent will be able to challenge it in court, the paper said.
Legal expert for the conservatives in parliament Jan-Marco Luczak admitted that the law would cost tenants more money.
“Global warming is in full progress and we did not set climate targets to fight that for nothing,” he said, adding that everyone must contribute to that fight.
Rent-payers will have some additional protection where heating costs are concerned – the law says that should a commercial heating provision company be contracted for a building, the costs to tenants may not rise.