15:46 GMT18 May 2021
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    The law, which freezes rent in Berlin for five years, has polarised the capital, with many arguing that rent is actually now more expensive than before.

    Sputnik is live from Berlin, Germany where people are taking to the streets to oppose the Constitutional Court’s decision to overturn the city’s rent freeze. Protesters are gathering despite the current nationwide lockdown, which was extended until April 18 amid a sharp rise in COVID infections. 

    Berlin introduced the five-year rent cap law in 2019, which froze rents for 90 percent of apartments in the capital. Later in the year, local authorities forced landlords to cut prices for those paying above the threshold.

    Ever since coming into effect, the law has been widely debated – due to uncertainty in the housing market caused by the legislation, many landlords have imposed so-called “shadow rent,” which is higher than the level before the law was passed. 

    The other argument against the law was that Berlin's authorities had exceeded its powers by pushing it through, as rent-related issues are the federal government's concern. 

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    Tags:
    housing, COVID-19, Berlin, rent, Germany
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