Germany's largest landlord calls for state support to increase energy efficiency
The housing group Vonovia, which acts as Germany's largest landlord, has called on the state to support energy efficient renovations in rented homes, writes Die Welt. Although the group's rental income surpassed two billion euros for the first time last year, it said support would be necessary in order for Germany to reach its target of cutting emissions from buildings from 120 million tonnes of CO2 to 70 million tonnes by 2030. A part of the group's apartments would not be financially sustainable to renovate, as rents could not legally be raised accordingly. "This must be compensated, and that by the state," said Rolf Buch, head of Vonovia, adding that no tenant should have to leave their apartment due to energy efficient renovations leading to higher rents. Vonovia has a renovation rate of four percent per year – three times higher than the national average.
Since the beginning of last year, landlords are able to pass on part of the costs for energy efficient modernisation to their tenants, whereas homeowners have been granted new tax incentives for renovations starting from January 2020. Tenants in Germany's large cities are already strained by rising rental costs due to growing demand and lagging construction of affordable new housing. The German tenants' association Deutscher Mieterbund (DMB) and Environmental Action Germany have (DUH) have previously raised concerns about keeping energy efficient renovations in buildings socially acceptable.