Property sales in Germany will be difficult after Berlin's rent freeze

German construction minister Horst Seehofer wants to help protect tenants by helping them convert rental apartments into condominiums, reports Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung.

Seehofer is proposing to introduce at least two-thirds of the flats in the apartment building to be sold to tenants or their family members for any conversion plan to be approved by the government, the newspaper said. Tenants in Germany have the right of first refusal if the apartment building is divided into condominiums.
In Berlin, legislators have stopped renting a five-year lease due to property growth over the past decade, but property owners have urged the German Supreme Court to reverse the move. Researchers at the Ifo Institute warned in February that such restrictions would require landlords to withdraw property from the rental market and sell them as condominiums when vacant.
Because there are many people who do not have the money to buy a living apartment, tenants will be expelled for at least three years after converting.
The bill, proposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's aide to the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, compels undeveloped landowners to build residential properties. In the future, cities and municipalities will be able to ensure that one or more residential buildings are part of the development of the plan allows, and there is a tight housing market in the area in question.
Seifer's plans are controversial in the German ruling coalition. Merkel's Christian Democrats lawyer, John-Marco Luzak, said property formation should be a central component of government policy. The real estate lobby group GDW said the planned change would help speed up the planning process.

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