Berlin rent caps: No incentives for energy-related refurbishment measures

Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) therefore demands to bring social and climate-friendly aspects for rented housing together.

Berlin rent caps: No incentives for energy-related refurbishment measures. Source: Pixabay

Right now everybody is talking about climate protection and the environment, and landlords should not avoid this topic on the housing market either. Especially because climate protection on buildings should ensure affordable rents in the long term. According to DUH, however, the plans by the Berlin Senate to introduce a rental cap, failed to take into account urgently needed incentives for energy-related refurbishment measures at the time. According to experts, an amendment to the law is therefore urgently needed.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe welcomes the initiative of the Berlin Senate to make more affordable housing in the capital possible with the rent cap. However, the accompanying draft law provides hardly any incentives for landlords to improve the energy status of a building and to renovate the apartments in a climate-friendly manner. In fact, the Environmental and Consumer Protection Association even fears that the law will not pursue urgently needed energy-efficient building renovations in the rental housing stock and will bring them to a standstill. The DUH therefore calls on the Senate to supplement the law with incentives for energy-related refurbishment measures.

In order to achieve the climate protection goals and to ensure that housing remains affordable even with rising energy costs, numerous existing buildings in Berlin must be renovated for energy efficiency. Currently, the rate of refurbishment in the capital is less than one percent. In order for the country to achieve its climate targets, it would have to rise to at least 2.5 percent.

Barbara Metz, Deputy Federal Managing Director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe: „From a social point of view, the approach of the rent cap is absolutely understandable. However, the law does not give sufficient consideration to climate protection. The enormous pent-up demand for energy-efficient refurbishment of existing buildings will therefore be further piled up by the planned rent cap. In the medium term, tenants will suffer from rising heating costs. Affordable housing and climate protection are linked. In principle, we need a different, fair distribution of the costs of energy-related measures between landlords, tenants and the state.“ If it were up to the DUH, tenants would have to be relieved by reducing the modernisation levy to four percent. In return, landlords should be given new financial incentives in the form of additional governmental KfW subsidies and appropriate tax depreciation. The DUH is clearly demanding improvements from the federal government.


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