Difficult comparative rent: Neighborhoods increase the rent?

              Tuesday, 03. December 2019

              Your apartment is much cheaper than the neighbors? Then maybe your landlord can raise the price. But some comparisons are wrong. What should one know about local comparative rents?
              How much rent do people pay for similar apartments in the same city? The local comparative rental interest tenants and landlords not only out of curiosity. It also determines the limit up to which the rent in an existing tenancy may rise, if not, for example, modernized. Important questions and answers. Can the rent always increase up to the customary comparable rent? Landlords must announce increases to the local comparative rent in writing and justify. If the reasoning is correct, for example if the indicated comparative rent is correct, tenants can not refuse. Nevertheless, they have time to check: "A rent increase they have to agree only after two full months plus the month in which they have received the letter from their landlord," explains Hans Jörg Depel of the tenant association Köln.Liegt the current rent far below the comparative rent The landlord is not allowed to raise it to this limit in one fell swoop. "Within three years, the rent may not increase in the stock by more than 20 percent.In some states, this cap is 15 percent in three years," said Helena Klinger of the owners Association House & Grund Germany.Und: "Is the local comparative rent reached , is once the end, "says the lawyer and Mietrechtsexpein Beate Heilmann. "Then, the landlord must wait for the next rent mirror and see if then the value of the apartment has risen." If that is the case, he may raise the rent. " According to Heilmann, it may only be more expensive than usual if, for example, modernization is carried out and the costs are passed on to the tenants. How is the local comparative rent determined? This is a complicated process that sometimes involves collecting thousands of data. It is important that a rental apartment is compared with apartments that have similar sizes and features. Also the age and the energetic state must fit. "Criteria are according to article 558 of the civil code kind and size of the living space, the equipment, for example collective heating, bath and parquet floor, the condition, for example the maintenance condition and the situation of the flat for example in the city center or outdoors ", explains Depel. Housing defects have no influence on the value. "Here, only the formal value of the apartment is decisive," says the leasing expert. "Both the new rental prices and the changed existing rents of the last four years will be included in the local comparative rent," adds Helena Klinger. According to the will of the Federal Government, rents from six instead of the previous four years are to be included in the future. If a tenant himself, for example, integrates a kitchen into his apartment, this has no effect on the rent. The Federal Court of Justice has confirmed this in a judgment (Ref .: VIII ZR 52/18). If the tenant has installed the kitchen at his own expense, it may not be taken into account permanently when determining the local comparative rent. "If the tenant leaves the kitchen to the landlord after moving out, he can treat it as his property," Heilmann emphasizes. "It then belongs to the rental property and enhances it.This can also change the classification in the rent index and the landlord may adjust the rent for a new rental." How can landlords specify the local comparative rent? "In many cities and communities serve Mietspiegel to determine the local comparative rent, "says Helena Klinger. Rent levels are created by the respective city or municipality, often together with interest groups such as tenants and owners associations. Instead, the landlord but also, for example, three comparison apartments to use to justify a rent increase. "Rental databases may also be used theoretically, but for data protection reasons, there are none," said Klinger. Alternatively, an expert can prepare a report. But that's expensive, says the representative of the owners' association. Rent levels are used in practice – but there is still not one in each place. What can tenants do in case of doubt? "Often, the rents are arranged incorrectly because it was assumed that instead of a middle location of a good location," observes Depel , "Or the equipment is estimated better than it really is, tenants who doubt the comparative rent, should refuse their consent to the rent increase," said the spokesman for the Mietervereins Cologne. By the time the consideration period expires, they should then find out the correct amount of the comparative rent.

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