Already 60+ of you have saved an average of 277€ a month in rent.
Since we launched our campaign against illegally high rents with lawyers-turned-activists Wenigermiete.de in September 2017, more than 60 of you have saved an average of 277€ a month on your Berlin rents. That totals around 17,000€ a month in savings. 204.000€ a year. And that number continues to climb.
Our article Berlin: Your Rent Is Illegally High. Let’s Fight Back. was a call to arms for all of you sick of the bizarre trajectory the Berlin rental market is going in, and the reaction was overwhelming.
As we get more information on readers’ successful cases, the situation seems even more dire. Across many BERLIN LOVES YOU cases, landlords were asking for 81% more rent than was allowed. In the rules of the Mietpreisbremse, the German rent cap, landlords can legally charge tenants 10% too much rent. Adding an extra 71% on top of that is obscene.
It has nothing to do with market changes, Berlin’s economy, whatever else people write such things off as. It’s eye-watering greed and 100% illegal. It’s your right to fight back.
How it works.
Find out if you’re paying too much rent and activate a case against your scurrilous landlords within 15 minutes.
1) Fill in Wenigermiete.de’s online questionnaire about your rent. Have your contract handy for info. An English-language portal is also available.
2) Results are cross-referenced against the Mietpreisbremse rent guidelines.
3) You’ll instantly see how much you’re overpaying. You’ll be asked if you want Wenigermiete’s lawyers on your case.
4) You choose if you’d accept an out-of-court settlement and if you’d be willing to take the case to court. Either way, you’d do or pay nothing – Wenigermiete would sort it all out for you.
5) Once your claim is successful and your rent lowered, Wenigermiete’s fee works out as 4x your new monthly saving. It is taken from your new, lowered Kaution fund and sent to Wenigermiete by your landlord. There are no hidden costs and they only receive money for successful claims.
Berlin is not London, Paris, San-Fran, whatever.
The biggest obstacle we’ve come up against in our campaign is the argument that ‘well, rent’s still cheaper than X’. This argument simply doesn’t fly because, well, Berlin ISN’T the same as X, Y or even Z. It has its own historical and economic circumstances which dictate how much things cost. And it has the Mietpreisbremse for controlling rent prices. If you’re paying too much, it’s your legal right to have your rent lowered.
If big landlord companies think they can dictate ridiculous prices at us and we’ll swallow them up, prices will continue to soar, affecting each and every renter in the city.
We need to show the landlords that this isn’t okay. There’s a law that protects us, and we should exercise it. It only takes filling in a short questionnaire form and, hey, you might save a few hundred euros per month on your rent.
For the last year and a half, we’ve been spearheading our campaign with lawyers-turned-activists, Wenigermiete.de. They were the first organisation to take up this fight against illegal rent and are responsible for the vast majority of successful rent reduction claims in Germany.
On their site, they provide a free, comprehensive test that will help you verify if your rent is above the legal limit. Moreover, their site highlights the ins-and-outs of how landlords can increase rent and when they can’t. For instance, just because they changed the curtains or windows, doesn’t mean they can jack up your rent. They also have an English-language portal, which we developed with them. Because, well, expats are easy targets for the landlords.
Use the information on your rental contracts to complete the form and in about 15 minutes you’ll know if you’re eligible to launch a claim. It’s risk-free, cost-free and your right to do so. If you want to know more about Wenigermiete.de, check out our previous article.
Do you live in Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg or Neukölln?
Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln seem to be the hot-spots for illegal rent rises (not surprising really…). If you live in these areas and have a rental contract signed after June 2015, there’s a large chance you’re overpaying.
Article written in co-operation with Wenigermiete.de. Statistics as of December 2018, provided by Wenigermiete.de.