At the annual general meeting of the Vonovia subsidiary Deutsche Wohnen, the group makes it clear: Nobody will lose their apartment due to a rent increase. A statement by Vonovia boss Buch had previously caused a stir.

In the discussion about possible rent increases, the Vonovia subsidiary Deutsche Wohnen reaffirmed its voluntary hardship regulation. “Our tenants do not have to worry that they may no longer be able to afford their apartments as a result of any rent adjustments,” said co-CEO Konstantina Kanellopoulos at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday. When rent adjustments are made, the individual income and living conditions of those affected are taken into account. Affordability is a central characteristic of housing.

Deutsche Wohnen has belonged to Vonovia since last year. The boss of the largest German real estate group, Rolf Buch, had triggered criticism on Wednesday with his proposal to raise rents in future in line with the general price increase.

The company then declared that it would continue to adhere to the promise made to the city of Berlin that rents for its own portfolio and the portfolio taken over by Deutsche Wohnen would not increase by more than 1 percent on average for three years and then not more than inflation.

Read: Because of inflation – Germany’s largest housing group announces significant rent increases

Vonovia rents around 505,000 apartments in Germany. Deutsche Wohnen accounts for around 154,000 apartments, most of them in Berlin. In 2019, Deutsche Wohnen imposed its own hardship rules as a “tenant promise”. This includes that nobody has to give up their apartment due to rent increases or modernization measures.