Berlin agrees five-year rent freeze

Berlin has agreed to drastic measures to curb soaring housing costs, including a five-year freeze on rents and the right for tenants to have rents lowered if they rise higher than a government-fixed cap. The new curbs will apply to an estimated 1.5m apartments across the German capital. Critics have warned that the rent cap will drive away investment, but the city argued that it was vital to preserve affordable housing and prevent housing cost rising any further. According to property website Immowelt rents in Berlin have leapt 104% since 2009 from €5.70 per square metre to €11.70, but this