A view of Berlin, Source: Depositphotos

Berlin senators plead with courts to suspend forced evictions

Berlin senators plead with courts to suspend forced evictions

City authorities are appealing to the judges to be lenient during the incoming period of rising food prices and energy bills

On Friday, two Berlin Senators sent a letter to the city’s court presidents, asking them to suspend evictions over the winter months. Though far from an eviction moratorium, this move represents the local politicians’ attempt to cushion citizens from the negative effects of the coming winter.

Back in 2020, Berlin authorities tried to issue a rent price cap known as the Mietendeckel, to help citizens through the Covid pandemic.

However, that regulation was declared unconstitutional at the start of 2021, setting a precedent for judicial interference when it comes to crisis measures in the rental sector in the German capital.  Thus, with the new plea for a suspension of evictions, local leaders are trying a much softer approach.

Sensitising the courts to the risk of mass evictions

According to a statement by the city, the letter to Berlin’s courts was written by Berlin's Senator for Justice, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination, Dr Lena Kreck and Senator for Integration, Social Affairs and Labour, Katja Kipping.

They explained that the main point of the message was to sensitise the courts to the growing emergency situation. Senator Kreck underlined that judicial authorities can make the appropriate decisions in light of the situation.

Senator Kipping, on the other hand, pointed out that people who are already struggling could be hit by the prices of food and fuel even harder, leading them to no longer be able to afford rent. She also explained that if Berlin courts were to mandate mass evictions during the winter, even more people would suffer.

At the same time, social housing is already stretched to its limit, authorities say. Although Berlin is working to improve and expand its social package and prevent evictions in the long term, short-term solutions are also needed to get through this particular winter.



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