• Germany's news in English

Berlin to ban luxury flat renovations

The Local · 30 Jun 2014, 10:10

Published: 30 Jun 2014 10:10 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The proposed ban would apply to around 100,000 flats in 20 so-called "social conservation areas" in the central areas.

Berlin's ruling Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to push through the ban at a closed meeting on Sunday evening, Welt newspaper reported. A law will be prepared in the coming weeks.

The idea is to slow down rapid developments in Berlin's property market which has led to thousands of tenants being pushed out of the capital's central areas, said SPD regional chairman Jan Stöß.

"The Berlin property market is changing so quickly that we have to fully exploit the powers of the regional government," Stöß told the meeting.

Berlin's Senate recently raised the rental notice threshold to a maximum of ten years for long-term tenants, but this is not enough to help residents affected by the changes, he said.

"The transformation [of rented property] into private flats has proved itself to be the decisive factor in driving out of long-term tenants," said Stöß.

The ban will only apply in certain in-demand areas particularly threatened by rapidly rising rents such as parts of Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mitte and Tempelhof-Schöneberg.

Berlin's tenants association has warmly greeted the proposal whereas the German Real Estate Association (IVD) has rejected the intervention in the property market.

Story continues below…

"It's very concerning if the SPD wants to tell people what to do with their property," head of the regional chapter Dirk Wohltorf told the Welt. The ban would effectively punish those who had bought property as an investment for their old age, he added. 

SEE ALSO: Rental cap for busy areas draws closer

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd