Lisa Slashed Her Berlin Rent By 113€ A Month. Here’s How
By Andrew Cottrill . February 19, 2018
Here at Berlin Loves You, we’re fighting for cheaper Berlin rent for all.
And we’ve already helped more than 60+ of our readers lower their rent. We spoke Lisa about how she saved over 113€ a month.
In our previous article, Berlin: Your Rent Is Illegally High. Let’s Fight Back, we told you about the Mietpreisbremse and how you can use the Berliner Mietspiegel to find out if you’re paying illegally high rent. The response was fantastic. We know at least 20 of you heeded the call and are now paying less rent per month.
We spoke to Lisa from Prenzlauer Berg about how she used a free service called Wenigermiete and now pays 113€ less a month in rent… after filling in only one online form.
Tell a little about yourself?
I’m Lisa and I’m a real Berlinerin. More specifically, a Prenzl’bergerin. I grew up in Oderberger Strasse and went to school on Kollwitzplatz. I witnessed the area’s community change from having the poor, leftist, rebellious DDR citizens of my childhood to it becoming Berlin’s gentrified, feel-good district with an almost village-like cosiness. At some point it became too colourful for me and so I ventured out into the rest of the world for 10 years. Now I’m back. In Berlin. And in Prenzlauer Berg.
What kind of house do you live in/with whom and where?
Einmal Altbau, immer Altbau. I live in a renovated 1-room apartment, with real floorboards, high ceilings and a balcony, in the middle of Helmholzkiez.
How much rent were you paying?
I pay €750 per month warm, plus heating costs.
What made you contact Wenigermiete? Why did you think you were paying too much?
An acquaintance of mine is the Managing Director of Wenigermiete. And after I moved back it was obvious I was paying a lot, so I got in contact with this acquaintance to check if I was paying too much.
Were you scared you might lose your apartment after challenging your landlord?
No. Contract terminations by the landlord are only legal in very few cases. With the lawyers of Wenigermiete by my side, I had no reservations at all.
What actions did you take?
An online form is the basis for Wenigermiete to begin investigating your case. Completing the form takes no longer than 20 minutes, after that I had only a few phone calls with the lawyers of Wenigermiete to clarify the final details. After waiting for three months, the rent reduction certificate was ready for my signature.
How did the landlord fight back?
The landlord justified the rent by stating that Prenzlauer Berg is expensive, as well as charging extra for the flat being partially furnished. But that’s of course not true, because the Berliner Mietspiegel sets the base level for all rents. He then decided to get a lawyer himself.
How much money did you save?
113€ per month.
What is your relationship with your landlord now?
I’ve had no written or personal contact with my landlord since I started the proceeding. But then, there was no need for me to have.
What would you say to our readers who are unsure about contacting Wenigermiete?
Just do it – everyone has a right to affordable housing!
Well there you have it. Go onto the Berliner Mietspiegel right now to see if you’re overpaying, or just go directly to Wenigermiete and complete their online form – it’ll let you know if you have a claim or not.
If you want some more information on the Mietpreisbremse or the Berliner Mietspiegel, check out our previous article Berlin: Your Rent Is Illegally High. Let’s Fight Back. Don’t let the landlords steal your money.
Written in cooperation with Wenigermiete.