BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - The property owners' association Haus und Grund intends to take legal action against the planned extension of the rent freeze before the Federal Constitutional Court. This was announced by association president Kai Warnecke in the "Bild" newspaper (Thursday). "The Federal Constitutional Court only accepted the first rent freeze because it was limited to five years. With the second extension, the traffic light government is running blindly into a breach of the constitution," said Warnecke. "That is why Haus und Grund Deutschland will take the renewed extension of the rent freeze to the Federal Constitutional Court."

Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) reacted calmly to Haus und Grund's announcement. She assumed that the Ministry of Justice had examined the extension "sufficiently thoroughly", she said on rbb24 Inforadio on Thursday.

The traffic light coalition had agreed to extend the rent freeze in tight housing markets beyond 2025 until 2029. Where it applies, the rent freeze ensures that, in principle, the rent may not be more than ten percent higher than the local comparative rent when a new rental agreement is concluded. The respective state government decides whether the rent freeze applies in certain areas.

In 2019, the judges in Karlsruhe ruled that the rent freeze for particularly sought-after residential areas was not constitutionally objectionable. The regulations introduced in 2015 did not violate the guarantee of ownership, freedom of contract or the general principle of equality, the court ruled at the time.

Warnecke criticized in "Bild" that the rent freeze had massively exacerbated the housing shortage. "Since the introduction of the rent freeze, the number of missing apartments has increased. There are now said to be almost 900,000. It is becoming clear that the rent freeze is primarily to the detriment of tenants who are looking for affordable housing," said the head of the association.