German Of The Day: Eigentum

That means property. But property doesn’t mean much in Germany anymore. At least not in Berlin under its current “red-red-green” city government.

Property

Another word you might be interested in here is Enteignung.

German officials facing protests and endless complaints about threats to affordable housing in the nation’s capital have decided the solution may be a five-year ban on rent increases and fines as high as $550,000 for violators.

Officials in Berlin, a city of about 3.7 million residents long known for its affordable housing options, announced this week that they plan to temporarily freeze the rents charged on publicly and privately owned apartments in a bid to halt runaway gentrification.

“It will scare away investors who will find alternative markets with less regulation. It’s a socialist and populist attack on the free market and it’s not going to lead to a single new apartment being built.”

 

Redistribution Is Da Solution (Again)

The next step backwards: Berlin has a new law prohibiting landlords from demanding rents that are more than 10 percent higher than the area average, in an attempt to keep housing affordable in a city that’s attracting 50,000 new residents a year. The rule relies on a disputed index — known as the Mietspiegel — that critics say is a statistical crapshoot.

Rents

“The rent brake is essentially a transfer of wealth from landlords to tenants. Berlin will become less of a destination for international investors because capital doesn’t like to be constrained.”

Same Old Problems Caused By Same Old Solutions

Rent control still rocks. Just ask the people looking for a place to live in Hamburg, for instance.

Rents

The German government’s Mietpriesbremse (rent control plan)  – it’s “sozial,” as in “for free”  –  has alarmed landlords who are now raising rents even higher than they already had been, “vorsorglich” (preventitively).  Imagine that. Bad landlords.

It’s always the same old thing. There is a shortage of apartments. This increases the rents. New apartments are needed. That is why the government steps in “to help” by imposing price controls called rent controls. That is, the government ensures that the shortage will remain by making new housing construction unprofitable for those who would otherwise build the new housing (I know, profit is a dirty-ugly-yucky word but we haven’t found a better one yet). The shortage is sustained and increased by rent control, the supposed solution.

But don’t worry. Elections will come around soon enough and the same politicians who fixed that first problem will have new proposals for fixing the one that followed, all inexplicably like. And they will get reelected – by the very same people they screwed in the first place. Now that’s what I call sozial.

“Durch die Ankündigungen ohne konsequente Umsetzung hat die große Koalition die Kosten immer wieder angeheizt.”

German Of The Day: Zweckentfremdungsverbot

Now that’s a German word for you. And no, not just because it has Verbot on the end of it, although that certainly helps.

SPD

Zweckentfremdung means misappropriation, and in this case the Verbot has to do with using apartments for something they were not meant to be used for; for renting. Well, actually, this particular misappropriation Verbot means renting them at a high rate to those awful and dreadful tourists who come to Berlin for a limited time instead of renting them out for much, much less to people who will be paying that much, much less for a much, much longer time. Which is, uh, better.

You guessed it, we’re back here in Berlin again and trying to rent your property for the most the free market will give you is an absolute sin in these parts and must be stopped immediately. And that’s what the Berlin SPD is now trying to do with this here new-fangled, old school Socialist-type Zweckentfremdungsverbot. And you and I both know that it will be yet another roaring success. Until it backfires and gets quietly repealed a few years down the road again, that is.

Experten setzen große Hoffnungen auf das Verbot. Denn dann sind Vermietungen an Touristen und Firmen künftig nicht mehr möglich.

PS: That picture up there kills me, too. Being willing to pay 500 euros (roughly $675) to someone who finds an apartment for you is considered a complete Skandal here so that’s why “the state” needs to jump in and take those 500 euros from somebody else to pay, so-to-speak, only it will be more like 5000 euros then, which is then OK.