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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The last decade or so the cost of renting a flato house in Berlin has risen steadily and sharply. It's led to fears that the city is becoming unaffordable to the very people who give it its young energy but this weekend. Berlin authorities introduced a Rent Camp. Landlords have been forbidden from raising rents on about one and a half million homes. The aim is to reinstate a sense of balance or Stephanie. Bolton is London correspondent for develop and joins US now Stephanie. Welcome back and how does this new ranked cat work while? It's a far more complicated than it. Sounds so The rent kept has come into force last Sunday and it refers to the To the level of the Ren SPEC in June twenty nineteen so if you are renting a flat in Berlin and You realize that actually So you can look at the index from June two thousand nineteen and you you see that what you're paying currently is more than twenty percent above the index. Then you can Actually you have to contact your landlord and say well. I'm paying over the Over the odds And therefore I'm now paying less to you but there are a lot of legal questions and the biggest one is that The opposition parties in Berlin half now called the Constitutional Court and score. And it's quite possible that Constitutional Court will say this This new Rent Cap is illegal because this has caused a huge amount of division in terms of whether it is a good or a bad thing. Hasn't it because those who wanted it introduced say we can keep affordable housing for people in Berlin which will then encourage young people to come will make sure those who are low income have a quality of life. That's not enjoyed by people in. Let's say London. Let rent in the center of the city are incredibly high. Those who don't want this to happen. Say That if you put a rank camp you'll drive away investment and there will be a housing shortage. Yes I mean. I'M A in everything. Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle but of course those who invest a saying if you cannot get the capital we need to reinvest that will actually make housing more difficult. They will not be more Especially social housing will not be billed. Because it's not attractive for an investment company want at the same time the the Senate in Berlin the Senate is the government in Berlin. I'm saying that's not true. We are actually building. I think something like five hundred new units of social housing every year and It is I mean after all is also Political questions a bit. It has become a bit of a populist question. Because last summer you've seen tens of thousands of Berliners going on the streets and protesting against the high rents and infect quite a lot of people claim that they are paying more than forty percent of their incomes now on for for renting. And you have to have in mind that Germany is a country where people usually rent. They do not own their flats so around. Fifty percent of people rent fled the whole life. They never buy a house and so it has always been something that You could afford quite well your your your house or your flat. It was maybe twenty five thirty percent of your income nevermore and in Berlin in the last ten years I looked at the index It depends where you are and what kind of house you got. What kind of lead? But if it was in two thousand eight five euro per square meter. It's ten euro per square meter so you cannot deny that has been a real rise in rents said tennis where this is going to end. I mean is the long-term image and identity of Berlin going to be altered by this change that's to be seen. It's really very very early days to say that and it They are already the first problems because there is not enough staff in the In the neighborhood councils. So the neighborhood councils are actually in charge is if you say you listen middle you listen wedding edition quarterback and you say hey. This is actually not dried ice. I'm paying too Too much you should call a contact your roof or council. The local councils do not have the staff to actually attend the people that decides Because he cannot just cut your. If you just don't pay your rent you actually get into a into illegal position so this is one thing then they have said they will be hotline. Running from Monday onwards hotline hasn't even cooked the stuff either Plus as I said in the beginning there will be several legal cases and the most important one will be in the Constitutional Court in Congress. Were in if they say. This is actually breaking The right of landlords in on Germany than the whole project is going to be put into question. Anyway Stephanie Votes and thank you very much indeed for joining us on monocle twenty