Social Conservation Area
Since 2016 there has been a social conservation ordinance for the Weberwiese residential area in accordance with § 172 (1) sentence 1 no.2 of the Building Code. This regulation is also known as environmental protection. The aim is to protect the resident population from displacement and to prevent negative social and urban developments. The population in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg must be able to stay. The district office uses all legal means for this. With the milieu protection, particularly extensive modernization measures and conversions in condominiums can be prevented. The exercise of the right of first refusal by the district office is another instrument in the milieu protection areas to curb property speculation and thus to protect tenants from high cost increases.
The social conservation area
The Weberwiese area is one of several social conservation areas in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Around 5.300 people live here. Due to its inner-city location with very good transport possibilities, this area is very popular as a residential area. For several years there has been increasing pressure on the rental housing market. Expensive modernizations, high rent demands for new rentals and the exhaustion of all rent increase possibilities are driving up the general rent level. With the ongoing conversion of ownership, rental apartments are also disappearing from the market. The Social Preservation Ordinance aims to ensure that the residents are not pushed out of their residential area by these developments.
What can the Social Preservation Ordinance achieve?
With the milieu protection, the district can prevent excessively expensive modernizations.
Extensive modernization measures in particular are driving up rents and are leading to the fact that many tenants can no longer afford their apartment and have to leave their neighborhood. So-called luxury modernizations are therefore prohibited.
The following are not approved:
- Change of floor plan
- Merging or dividing apartments
- xtension of balconies, loggias or terraces with more than four square meters of floor space
- Addition of a second balcony, loggia or terrace
- Equipped kitchens
- Installation of a second bathroom or toilet, bathtub and shower, costly bathroom renovation
- Vacation apartments
Modernizations that merely produce the "contemporary equipment condition of an average apartment" must always be approved. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to put up with every measure. The district has commissioned a tenant advice service, which can clarify the tolerance issue with the tenants individually in each individual case.
Among other things, the following must be approved:
- First installation of central heating with hot water supply
- First installation of a bath
- Supplementing an existing bathroom with contemporary furnishings
- Basic equipment with sanitary, water and electrical installations, antenna, cable TV and intercom systems (audio) Renewal of existing windows in accordance with the Energy Saving Ordinance
- Loft extension and new building
- The construction of elevators must be checked on a case-by-case basis.
- The conversion into condominiums is subject to change
The conversion of rental apartments into condominiums has been booming for several years. Tenants are under particularly high pressure: In order to prepare for the sale of the condominiums, the residential buildings are often renovated in a particularly laborious manner and often even completely "de-rented".
Since the Senate passed a conversion ordinance in March 2015, the districts in social conservation areas can prevent this conversion activity. The land registry division of a tenement house is no longer permitted. As a rule, however, conversion is approved if the owner undertakes to offer the apartments for sale exclusively to tenants over a period of seven years. This does not prevent tenants from building ownership. As a rule, however, rental apartments remain rental apartments. When selling the houses, the district can exercise the right of first refusal. The sale of a house is often the beginning of upgrading measures, at the end of which many traditional tenants can no longer afford the rent. It is therefore the declared aim of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district office to limit speculative sales and thus protect existing tenants from displacement. With the instrument of the right of first refusal, the district office has an opportunity to counteract the negative developments. If the buyer wants to avert the exercise of the right of first refusal, he has the opportunity to conclude an avoidance agreement. In this, he undertakes to refrain from structural measures that endanger the goal of maintaining the composition of the resident population.
Which rent increases cannot be influenced by conservation law?
The milieu protection can only limit rent increases due to modernization, but not prevent other rent increases according to the German Civil Code (BGB). The environmental protection has no influence on: Basic rent increases according to § 558 BGB. In Berlin, increases of 15 percent are possible within three years, up to a maximum of the local comparable rent. Rent amount for new lettings according to the rental price brake, which has been in effect since June 2015, rents for re-letting may be a maximum of ten percent above the local comparative rent, exceptions: new buildings and comprehensively modernized apartments.
Do you have any questions about your apartment?
Asum GmbH provides free, individual advice on tenancy law to all tenants on behalf of the district office. Here you can answer questions related to the apartment, such as clarify about operating costs, rent increases, defects, subsidized apartments, heating costs, rental contracts, cosmetic repairs and terminations. You can also get information as to whether the upcoming modernization can be approved under conservation law. But even if you have a permit, that does not mean that you have to fully tolerate the modernization under tenancy law. Do not rush to agree to a modernization announcement or a rent increase without a legal tenancy check.
Arrange a consultation appointment with asum GmbH and use your rights.
Yorckstraße 4-11, 10965 Berlin
Stadtentwicklungsamt, Team Erhaltungsgebiete
Telefon: (030) 902 98-35 20
Tenant advice from asum GmbH for all residents in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Thaerstraße 30d, 4.OG,
10 a.m.-12 p.m .: Consultation with tenant advisor (please make an appointment)
2 pm-5pm: Consultation with tenant advisor (please make an appointment)
2 pm-5pm: Social counseling (supervised by Diakonie Berlin; please make an appointment on 030/261 19 93 or by email Sozialberatung@diakonie-stadtmitte.de )
10 a.m. - 1 p.m .: Consultation with tenant lawyer (please make an appointment)