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Is there any law that regulates authomatic increases in rent in Germany?

For example, on a rent contract where a certain monthly ammount is established, are there any authomatic yearly increases by law?

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No, there are no increases by law. If it increases, it increases because your contract said it increases, or because your contract changed.

There are local laws about trying to reduce the increases of rent, often called "Mietpreisbremse" or "Mietendeckel", but they are local laws and they regulate by how much the rent may be increased. No law exists that defines a default increase or says it must increase.

Increases may happen when the apartment gets modernized or when the area you rent increases (sounds weird at first but for example if your apartment gets an additional balcony, the area you rent has just increased, although your walls haven't moved at all).

What might increase independent of your rent and might actually change by small amounts every year is non-fixed positions, like water, garbage disposal, gardening if you have a common yard, electricity for common rooms (staircase and elevator in an apartment block for example). Those will fluctuate from year to year independent of what is in your contract as rent for your apartment.

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    Thank you for your answer. – Zyl Dec 4 '19 at 11:22
  • This answer does not take § 558 (1) BGB (Civil Code) into account. – Mark Johnson Dec 4 '19 at 13:44
  • As far as I understood §558, it's covered under "or because your contract changed". A one-sided change in terms, though legalized through §558, is still a change in contract. §558 does not force any change or take effect automatically. It only gives the landlord an option to change the contract without having the other party to agree. – nvoigt Dec 4 '19 at 14:34
  • It is not a change of the contract, only a part of the conditions. The lessor may demand approval of an increase in rent. In court the judge says since 558 gives them the right to demand it, you must appove. And in reality, they demand this every 2 years when they can. – Mark Johnson Dec 4 '19 at 15:00
  • Well, as always with a change of contract, you can either approve and keep your contract, or disapprove and cancel the contract without having to obey the normal cancellation criteria. My landlord has not used this in the 20 years of me living there, so I'd say it's not a given that landlords will actually use it. Sure, they can change your contract, but they don't have to. The automatism you imply is their greed. – nvoigt Dec 4 '19 at 15:06
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Yes, there is but only after a period of 15 months of unchanged rent - whereby raises for renovations (§ 559) and maintainence costs (§ 560) don't count.

§ 558 (1) BGB (Civil Code), generally leads to an automatic increase every 2 years. This increase may be higher than the inflation rate.

These increases lead to average rent of the area being raised, which in itsself leads to further increases.

For pensioners, which recieve about 60% of their previous earnings, this poses problems since these increases alone eats up the increased pension of the last 2 years.

For social support, where the amount of rent is part of the calculation, there is a fix sum of rent that will be taken into consideration. This fix sum is not raised in the same automatic mannor as the rent itself.

Bezahlbarer Wohnraum (Affordable living space) is considered a major social problem where the average rent is nearing the 50% of available income (instead of around 30%), for which § 558 (1) BGB is partially a cause of since it similar in nature to a never ending spiral of increases.


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  • Thank you. Could you clarify what is the percentage of the bi-yearly increase of § 558 (1) BGB? – Zyl Dec 4 '19 at 14:17
  • There is no general ruke, since it is based on the aveare of the area. If 5 new appartement buildings are created and if the rent for each flat is 200% higher than those of the area ; then the average for all will rise. My 2017 was just over 10% (max 15% is allowed). The inflation rate 2016+17 was 2%. – Mark Johnson Dec 4 '19 at 14:30
  • Please note that this still does not constitute a case of "authomatic yearly increases by law". This law regulates that the landlord may change the contract one-sided legally (compared to: "never" as the default). The landlord does not have too and it's certainly not automatic. – nvoigt Dec 4 '19 at 14:31
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    But the reality is that they do demand it and you must even sign that you agree. If you don't they go to court. They rule that have the right to demand it and you must therefore agree. I went though this last year. – Mark Johnson Dec 4 '19 at 14:41
  • There is no such thing as "must agree". You can always disagree and find another landlord. – nvoigt Dec 4 '19 at 15:09

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