March 12, 2020 / 4:31 PM / 18 days ago

Berlin court finds rent freeze law unconstitutional, refers upwards

BERLIN, March 12 (Reuters) - A Berlin district court said on Thursday it had found that the city’s rent freeze law was unconstitutional and referred it to Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court for a definitive ruling.

The court said that Berlin’s city legislature did not have the power to pass the legislation, which freezes rents in the German capital for five years.

“In its decision, the 67th Civil Chamber ... found that the legal provisions of the ‘Berlin Rent Ceiling’ are formally unconstitutional because the city state of Berlin lacked the legislative competence to pass it,” the court said.

Earlier on Thursday, however, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected an application for an injunction against the rent freeze law. It remains to be seen if judges there will act on the latest referral. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt Editing by Paul Carrel)

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