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Berlin Adopts Five-Year Freeze to Rein In Soaring Rents

  • German capital passes controversial changes to property market
  • Opposition parties have vowed to challenge measures in court
A pedestrian rides an e-scooter past apartment blocks under construction in the Friedrichshain district of Berlin.
A pedestrian rides an e-scooter past apartment blocks under construction in the Friedrichshain district of Berlin.Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
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Berlin’s plan to rein in the city’s rental market was approved by lawmakers, capping revenue for property owners and potentially driving investors away from the German capital. Shares in major landlords slumped.

Berlin’s legislature backed measures including a five-year rent freeze Thursday, more than six months after they were proposed by the left-leaning administration. The changes will likely come into force by the end of February, though opposition parties have signaled their intention to challenge them in court.