Rent price brakes


One so­lu­tion for the is­sue of ris­ing rents that’s been tried in Ger­many is the Mi­et­preis­bremse, or ‘rent price brake’. Es­sen­tially, it’s a law that is sup­posed to stop land­lords from rais­ing rents by more than 10 per­cent of the lo­cal av­er­age. Ber­lin be­came the first Ger­man state (it’s a state as well as a city) to adopt the pol­icy in 2015.

Yet the pol­icy isn’t work­ing as in­tended: the Ger­man gov­ern­ment has re­cently been look­ing at tight­en­ing the law, as land­lords have sim­ply been rais­ing rents by just un­der the 10 per­cent thresh­old. Time, of course, will tell if tighter reg­u­la­tions – which are sup­posed to come into ef­fect on Jan­uary 1, 2019 – will be more ef­fec­tive.

De­spite calls for reg­u­la­tion, among cer­tain seg­ments of the pop­u­la­tion, in­for­mal rental con­tracts are as pop­u­lar as ever, no mat­ter how dim a view gov­ern­ment agen­cies may take.

In Dubai, build­ings like the Princess Tower (the sec­ond­tallest res­i­den­tial build­ing in the world) and its 97 sto­ries above ground are home to lit­er­ally thou­sands of young pro­fes­sion­als from all over who can’t af­ford to stay in the city’s fa­mously high­priced ho­tels and aren’t yet sure ex­actly how long they plan on staying.

To move into such a build­ing, all it takes is a quick search on a web­site like Du­biz­zle, a call to the land­lord, and voila: a no muss, no fuss place to un­pack the suit­cases and lay one’s head for a while.

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