Answers on the subject of a changed reference rate
The reference rate has fallen, but your landlord hasn’t done anything? MyRight has compiled questions on your eligibility for a rent reduction and how you should proceed. The sample letter also supports you in contacting your landlord. My rent hasn’t changed for five years.
Doesn’t the landlord have to reduce the rent, as interest rates have fallen continuously over the last few years?
Landlords are not obliged to do anything themselves. The reference rate normally applies unless otherwise agreed.
We recommend that you:
- Check your tenancy agreement and the reference rate given in it and compare it to the current one (as at March 3, 2020, 1.25%). If the reference rate at the start of your tenancy or whenever the contract was last amended is higher, you must take action yourself. A reduction is only possible with due regard to the next possible termination date and by complying with the termination period and any minimum rental period.
- Due to the deadlines and for the purposes of proof, we recommend that you put your request for a rent reduction in writing and send it by registered letter (see sample letter below). You can refer to the table on the tenants’ association’s website, for example, to establish the extent of your eligibility for a rent reduction. Bear in mind that the landlord may claim inflation and value-adding investments, making the claim to a rent reduction lower than the actual reduction in the reference rate.
- Wait and see what the reaction is from your landlord.
- Depending on the landlord’s reaction, you should telephone the arbitration office within 30 days. MyRight will of course be happy to help you further. Get in touch with us before the end of the 30-day period and we will discuss what action to take next.
Can I submit a request for a rent reduction at any time?
Yes, you can submit a request at any time. Your request to reduce your net rental on the next possible termination date must be received by your landlord before the beginning of the notice period so that it applies on the next termination date.
What if the landlord does not respond to my request for a reduction?
When you apply for a rent reduction, it is best for you to ask for a written response from your landlord. The landlord must reply to you within 30 days. If your request is unreasonably refused, you can submit a claim for a reduction to the rental arbitration office. If the landlord does not respond at all, you can submit a claim for a reduction within 60 days of submitting the request.