A groundbreaking housing policy, preventing landlords from raising their rent over 10% of the local average, was recently introduced in Berlin. Now housing campaigners in the UK have called for London to follow suit.
The new law, which was passed in March, may be rolled out throughout all Germany’s densely populated areas if the pilot study in Berlin is deemed a success. The move came after rent prices in their capital city rose by 40% between 2003-11 prompting widespread belief that low-income tenants would be priced out of the city.
Reiner Wild, the Managing Director of Berlin Tenants’ Association, told The Guardian: “We don’t want a situation like in London or Paris. The reality in Paris or London is that people with low income have to live in the further-out districts of the city.”
Pressure from campaigners in Britain is now mounting as many people believe that London could benefit from a similar policy. Jacky Peacock OBE, employee of housing charity Advice4Renters, made the following comments yesterday: “We support a rent cap similar to the one in Berlin, and London should follow.
“High rents are driving more and more people in low paid jobs out of London, both inner and outer London boroughs. We’re facing deep problems are this crisis continues and we are seeing more ‘hidden homeless’ than ever before.”
Private rents in London rose at a rate six times faster, over 15% from 2011-15, than those in the North of the country according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics. However, many people in London have reported much bigger hikes.
Labour’s planning spokesperson on the London Assembly, 73-year-old Nicky Gavron, had this to say:
In London millions of renters are left with no protection from arbitrary yearly rent rises and unfair and ever increasing fees.
So do you think that Berlin’s rental cap could be the answer to London’s housing crisis? You know where the comments section is.