FAQ

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Questions about rent control (Mietpreisbremse)

Rent control (Mietpreisbremse) is a law that has been in force in almost all German states since June 2015. Especially in large cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, rents are rising rapidly due to high demand. Accordingly, landlords are no longer allowed to charge excessive rents. The maximum permitted rent is calculated on the basis of the local comparative rent, which you can calculate for your apartment using the rent index.

A maximum of ten percent above the rent index is permitted. If you pay more, you can also demand a rent reduction during the current tenancy. wenigermiete.de helps you do this – without stress and cost risk.

Overview: Does the rent brake apply in my federal state? (As of April 9, 2020)

State Status
Baden-Württemberg Was declared invalid in March 2019.
Bayern Effective since August 2019 in 162 cities and municipalities.
Berlin Effective throughout Berlin since May 2015.
Brandenburg Effective since April 2019 in Potsdam and 31 other cities and municipalities.
Bremen Effective since December 2015 in Bremen (city), but difficult to enforce without a rent index (Mietspiegel). Not effective for Bremerhaven.
Hamburg Effective throughout Hamburg since July 2018.
Hessen Effective in 31 cities and municipalities since June 2019.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Effective in the cities of Rostock and Greifswald since October 2018.
Niedersachsen Was declared ineffective in December 2019. A new regulation is to be issued within six months.
Nordrhein-Westfalen Ineffective
Rheinland-Pfalz Effective in Mainz, Trier, Landau and Speyer since October 2019.
Saarland Ineffective
Sachsen Ineffective
Sachsen-Anhalt Ineffective
Schleswig-Holstein The rent brake will be abolished early in Schleswig-Holstein in November 2019.
Thüringen Effective in Erfurt and Jena since March 2016.

Yes, the legislator also wanted to consider the interests of the landlords. Therefore rent control does not apply in the following cases:

  • New building which was rented for the first time after October 1, 2014.
  • First-time occupancy after so-called comprehensive modernisation: important– the investment must be at least one third of that required for a comparable newly built apartment. If the landlord installs double-glazed windows or a new kitchen where there was none before, the landlord can pass on part of the costs to the maximum rent (eight or eleven percent per year) but is not completely exempt from rent control. If the landlord claims to have carried out a major refurbishment, he/she must give a detailed explanation of the costs. Many landlords try to invoke this exception, but cannot prove it. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate. wenigermiete.de will do that for you.
  • • If the previous tenant already paid a rent that was higher than the maximum rent allowed, the landlord may also demand this rent when renting out again. This means that the rent can be reduced to the rent of the previous tenant. Important: If the previous tenant's rental contract was already subject to the rent brake and the rent was in breach of it, the landlord cannot invoke it. wenigermiete.de will find all this out for you, you do not have to worry about it.

For all rental agreements concluded before 1 April 2020, the following applies: As a tenant, you must activate rent control (Mietpreisbremse) by means of a letter of claim or complaint. The landlord only has to pay back the excess rent paid thereafter. Therefore, it is important to act quickly and place the order with wenigermiete.de before the end of the month to reduce the rent.

But since April 1, 2020, the rent brake has been tightened and extended until 2025. This means: If you signed your rental contract after April 1, the following applies: you can reclaim any excess rent paid retroactively from the date you signed the contract (for a maximum of 30 months). Until 2025, the federal states themselves can determine where the rent brake will apply. In areas with a tight housing market, the rent may then only be ten percent above the local comparable rent.

Yes, the rent control (Mietpreisbremse) also applies to graduated and index-linked rental agreements. If you want us to check your graduated rent, simply enter the amount of your current graduated rent.

In principle, the rent control (Mietpreisbremse) also applies to fixed-term contracts, although landlords often use this trick to set the rent higher. You should still try to apply for a rent reduction. In our experience, the chances are good that the rent brake will be applied to contracts with a term of more than one year. If you are dependent on the contract being extended after the fixed term, we may be able to challenge the fixed term first, as many fixed term clauses are invalid.

Yes, the landlord is entitled to charge a surcharge for the rented furniture, but must justify this surcharge with the cost of the furniture. The monthly surcharge may not exceed 2% of the value of the furniture on the date of moving in. Sample calculation: The landlord provides you with a new IKEA bed, a table and two chairs worth 1,000 euros. The monthly surcharge may not be higher in this case than 20 euro over the maximum permissible rent computed of wenigermiete.de according to renting price mirror (Mietspiegel).

Unfortunately rent control is not applicable to individual rooms. If a shared flat decides to apply the rent brake, then all the main tenants registered in the rental agreement must order it.

In that case rent control does not apply to your current tenancy. The legislator has granted the condominium owners protection of their property.

wenigermiete.de offers you as a tenant the possibility to find out within minutes whether your rent is too high and thus violates rent control.

Step 1: You determine your savings potential in three minutes - with the free online rent calculator. The more precise your information is, the more reliable the calculation will be.

Step 2: You give wenigermiete.de the order to lower your rent with a simple mouse click.

Step 3: Lean back and relax. wenigermiete.de contacts your landlord to enforce the rent reduction out of court. If the landlord does not react, wenigermiete.de will take legal action on your behalf. As soon as wenigermiete.de is successful, you pay less rent.

wenigermiete.de only charges a fee if the rent has been successfully reduced. If this does not succeed, you will not have to pay anything. The fee in the case of success is a one-time fee for four months (including VAT). Usually the landlord pays this fee. With the lowered rent the deposit is reduced and the landlord has a credit balance from you (repayment claim). For this reason, wenigermiete.de will not ask you for your payment details. Should wenigermiete.de seek legal proceedings with your landlord, wenigermiete.de will of course also cover the lawyer's fees and legal costs.

"No cost risk" means that you pay nothing to wenigermiete.de if we have not reduced your rent. This means that if you hire wenigermiete.de, you can only "win" something and not lose any money. How wenigermiete.de can take on the cost risk? A wenigermiete.de contract attorney will, if an out-of-court enforcement fails, make an assessment as to whether the case can be won or not. Only if the lawyer assumes that he/she can be successful, wenigermiete.de will go to court and take the risk of legal costs. Since wenigermiete.de is highly specialized, the tenant portal is 90 percent correct with its case assessment. If the chances of success are not good for various, individual reasons, wenigermiete.de does not pursue the case in court. Only if you absolutely want the contract lawyer to pursue your case in court, even though he had advised against it beforehand and wenigermiete.de would not have pursued the case on his part, do you bear the court costs yourself and wenigermiete.de will pay the contract lawyer's fee in an accommodating manner.

wenigermiete.de can only inform you about the services offered. However, LexFox GmbH, which operates the wenigermiete.de portal, is not a legal services company, but a legal services company, and as such may not provide legal advice as an independent business. However, you can use the free wenigermiete.de lawyer hotline (click here >>). There, wenigermiete.de will arrange a contract lawyer for a free initial consultation.

Yes. If an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached and wenigermiete.de considers judicial enforcement to be promising, legal action will also be taken in court. Of course, wenigermiete.de bears the costs.

wenigermiete.de is not in competition with tenant associations or lawyers. The offer differs and it also depends on what kind of "type" tenant you are and how much work you want to do:

The wenigermiete.de service is suitable for tenants who want to claim their claim online, without a lot of time and without cost risk. Once all the details of the apartment have been entered online, the tenant no longer has to worry about anything. wenigermiete.de is motivated by its business model to achieve the highest possible rent reduction for tenants, as wenigermiete.de will share in the amount of the reduction if it is successful (four times the rent savings). A law firm on the other hand works for a fixed fee and therefore has less motivation to negotiate the highest possible reduction. In addition wenigermiete.de is highly specialized contrary to most attorneys inside on questions in the renting right.

The tenancy associations (Mieterschutzbund) provide help for self-help. In on-site meetings the tenant is helped how he/she can write and send off the complaint. However, if the landlord does not react, the case is passed on to a lawyer. Usually you have to be a member of the tenants' associations in order to use the service for a current case.

The same applies to a legal protection insurance: If you have a legal protection insurance with the additional module housing, you may be able to go through a law firm/self-employed lawyer. However, an excess (usually 150 Euro or more) is often due, without knowing whether the lawyer can ultimately get something out of it for the tenant or not. If you don't have a legal protection insurance, you already pay for the initial consultation (usually just under 200 Euros) without knowing whether there is any claim at all.

wenigermiete.de is aware that the questionnaire contains many questions that are not easy to answer. If you need support, please call 030 28443300 (Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00) and wenigermiete.de will be happy to help you. Since wenigermiete.de will use your details directly to create the complaint letters, it is important that you answer the questions as correctly as possible.

The duration of the procedure depends entirely on the reaction of the landlord. Some landlords react immediately, some take their time. wenigermiete.de tries to handle the procedure quickly, but does not want to put the landlord under unnecessary time pressure. That is why wenigermiete.de sets appropriate response deadlines. As a rule, wenigermiete.de succeeds in concluding an out-of-court settlement within two months. If a court case comes up, it will of course take longer.

No. wenigermiete.de requests all information from the landlord, no matter if it is about bills for modernisation measures or the contract of the previous tenant. You do not have to worry about it.

Yes, the online rental price calculator works with the official rent indexes of the municipalities or cities. On average, tenants at wenigermiete.de have calculated a monthly savings potential of over 200 Euros. If you are significantly above this figure, it could be because your apartment has been modernised. The landlord can generally add the modernisation costs to the rent, but he/she must prove this. In these cases, it is possible that wenigermiete.de cannot enforce the full calculated savings amount. If you have any questions about your calculation, wenigermiete.de will be happy to clarify your concerns by phone.

Of course. If you are interested in an agreement with the landlord – and wenigermiete.de recommends this – you can deposit an amount online after placing the order, which would still be acceptable to you as maximum rent. If the landlord/landlady has not paid the amount on time, wenigermiete.de will send him/her a reminder to submit a proposal for an agreement. For this purpose, wenigermiete.de has developed an online settlement tool, which makes it easier for the landlord to understand the calculation of the rent and to submit an offer to reduce the rent.

If you are interested in an agreement with the landlord – and wenigermiete.de recommends this – you can deposit an amount online after placing the order, which would still be acceptable to you as the maximum rent.

If the landlord/landlady has not paid the amount on time, he/she will be given access to the innovative wenigermiete.de online agreement tool with the reminder. There, the landlord can check and, if necessary, correct your details about the apartment and propose an agreement based on them. If the suggestion matches the amount deposited by you, an agreement is reached. The landlord/landlady will then receive an agreement contract with the request to sign it.

In order to confirm that wenigermiete.de is actually acting on your behalf, landlords may request an original power of attorney. Therefore, wenigermiete.de asks you to send the signed power of attorney and assignment confirmation by post when placing the order.

Yes, of course. If you already know before signing the contract that the rent is against rent control (Mietpreisbremse), you can take action immediately after moving into the apartment. However, if you approach the landlord before signing the contract, your chances of getting the apartment will decrease. You should therefore not raise the issue until you have moved in.

Most landlords react objectively to the wenigermiete.de letter. In many cases, the clerks of the property management or real estate companies take care of the procedure. Some landlords also employ lawyers. This is good, because it usually professionalises the process.

If the landlord does not react within a reasonable period of time or does not meet the requirements for information (e.g. energy pass, amount of previous rent), he/she will receive a reminder. wenigermiete.de strives for an amicable settlement between you and the landlord in every phase of the procedure. To this end, wenigermiete.de has developed an online agreement tool that makes it easier for the landlord to understand the calculation of the rent and to submit an offer for a rent reduction. If the landlord does not react even after several reminders and wenigermiete.de is convinced that it can win the case in court, a lawsuit will be filed. Of course, wenigermiete.de will then bear the cost risk for all litigation and legal fees.

Rent control (Mietpreisbremse) is applicable law according to the German Civil Code and obligatory for all landlords. The landlord actually only has the following possibilities to defend himself:

  • He/She can claim that the previous tenant has already paid such a high rent.
  • He/She can claim to have carried out so-called comprehensive modernisation.
  • He/She can claim that the new building was rented for the first time after 1 October 2014.
  • He/She may challenge the calculation of the local comparative rent.
  • If the landlord makes one of these defensive attempts, wenigermiete.de will demand proof. Many landlords do not succeed in proving exceptions to the rent brake. Because: wenigermiete.de doesn't let up, but hangs on until all the facts are on the table.

The fear of termination keeps many tenants from resisting landlords. All tenants in Germany enjoy a special protection against termination. The landlord cannot simply terminate your contract just because you assert your rights and commission wenigermiete.de. It is important that you continue to pay the rent in full and on time (albeit with reservations) and that you behave in accordance with the contract (for example, do not keep an unannounced pet or sublet the apartment without permission).

If you comply with your obligations as a tenant, there is only one way to terminate your tenancy: Personal use. If you rent the apartment from a company, this is already excluded. Only private individuals can register their own use and even then this is only possible under strict conditions, which many private landlords do not comply with. This means that even in the extremely unlikely event of a (personal use) termination, wenigermiete.de has a good chance of averting it.

Further information and reasons why you don't have to be afraid of your landlord can be found here.

→ wenigermiete.de show data: In thousands of cases, over 99 percent of wenigermiete.de customers have not received a threat of termination!

wenigermiete.de hopes that more tenants will dare to pull the rent brake and stand up for their rights due to the increasing media coverage and educational work. The more tenants make use of it, the more successful the fight against usury in rent. Tenants should not have a guilty conscience or even fear that they will stand up for their rights. Landlords should have a bad conscience if they break the law.

Many landlords know that they are the ones breaking the law and not the tenants. You, on the other hand, as a tenant, enjoy a particularly high level of legal protection in Germany. wenigermiete.de would therefore like to give you the following: wenigermiete.de is always friendly and professional and is always open to an amicable settlement between you and your landlord at any stage of the process. Many wenigermiete.de customers have identified savings potential of several thousand euros per year. It might be worthwhile to demand a fair rent. Even if you are otherwise rather peace-loving.

If you receive a rent increase from your landlord during or after the end of the procedure, please inform wenigermiete.de. Many rent increases are not legal and can be fended off by wenigermiete.de. However, under no circumstances may you agree to the rent increase in writing, and you should not pay the increased rent for the time being (tacit agreement).

If you have a private landlord, it may be a good idea to inform them that you want to hire wenigermiete.de. If your landlord is a company, it usually doesn't matter, since you are only a "number in the system" and the person in charge usually has no (personal) interest in your case.


Questions about rent increase (Mieterhöhung)


Questions about cosmetic repairs (Schönheitsreparaturen)


Questions about Termination of rental agreement (Mietvertragskündigung)


Questions about Property defects (Mietminderung)