John Riceburg: Do Not Kill Your Landlord



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Again with the whining

Name another (capital) city in the world where the rent is as cheap as in Berlin. And by cheap I mean relative in percentage terms to one’s monthly net income. You’re a journalist, go do some research and find out how many other international metropoles require their residents to pay an average 25-30% of salary towards their living costs...then we’ll see how “unfair” you think life in Berlin is.

One more little thing - it’s not “your” home. Your landlord is providing you with a service, and you’re availing yourself of it. And I’m fairly sure no one is getting “rich” off your 50 € rent hike.

Thelvin more than 3 years ago

Keeping the market monster at bay

I live in Sydney and love Berlin. I wish I could tuck you guys into bed at night and say it will all be well in the morning. But sadly the world isn't like that. And I can't see any amount of regulation keep you harmless.

Sydney has better weather than Berlin, but that is about it. It used to be as remote a backwater as Berlin was until 1989. As recently as 1970s, they used to pay people to settle here. Now it is very hard to migrate to Australia, which effectively means live in Sydney. The population is about 5 million now headed for 8 million by 2050. We know all about crazy real estate prices and we know once a place is discovered, cosy notions of looking after the battlers, as we call them, takes a back seat. Much as old timers like me might like it, you can't park all day at a Sydney beach for nothing any more or even now in parts of the Harbour foreshore. And we have lots of beaches. The Harbour is pretty big too.

Sydney tried rent controls after the war when housing was in short supply and all we got was a black market ("key money") and a steady decline in the supply of habitable rental properties— this tends to happen in managed markets. Berlin is held up here as tenants' heaven and much as we would like it to be so in perpetuity, I can't see market forces being held at bay forever.

Berlin has made the mistake of being too desirable and once the word gets out, as it has even to the depths of the southern hemisphere, abandon hope when it comes to stable real estate prices and rents. I am grateful I have been able to see it at its best without spending too much of the children's inheritance.

Richard Ure more than 3 years ago

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