10,000 citizens surveyed: Here’s how Bonn’s new rent index is created

10,000 citizens surveyed : Here’s how Bonn’s new rent index is created

Affordable apartments are rare in Bonn. The rent index can be used to get an overview of whether rents are expensive or fair. However, there has always been disagreement over the index in Bonn.

Anyone looking for an apartment in Bonn must have – as in many other cities too – lots of patience or a healthy bank balance. Affordable apartments in the federal city are rare and there is a lot of competition between those looking for apartments. The rent index is an instrument for quickly identifying what an apartment in a particular location costs depending on its standard. It gives an overview of the local comparative rents.

However, there has been disagreement in the past about the current rent index. Now a new rent index is to be issued. To this end, the city administration began a representative survey on Monday of around 10,000 randomly selected tenants and landlords. Rents from detached and two family houses are also being surveyed for the first time. The new rent index should be tabled and adopted by the council in summer 2020.

The owners’ association Haus & Grund Bonn/Rhein-Sieg and its counterpart in Bad Godesberg/Wachtberg are again in the working group for the new rent index, alongside the city of Bonn and the tenants’ association. The two owners’ associations had criticised the current rent index because in their view it contains major statistical errors, as Michael Kaiser (Bad Godesberg) and Helmut Hergarten and Markus Gelderblom (Bonn/Rhein-Sieg) explained at a press conference with city planning officer Helmut Wiesner and representatives of the tenants’ association Bernhard von Grünberg and Peter Kox.

One point of criticism was that the rents were assessed as lower than before for a large part of the apartments in Bonn, explained Gelderblom. The criteria that were previously applied were not scientifically valid, as experts had confirmed. “Now the process will be made very transparent; every single step will be presented to and discussed with us.”

Like the representatives of the owners’ associations, the city planning officer Helmut Wiesner also appealed to all citizens chosen to take part in the survey in order to obtain a workable rent index. Disputes over the amount of rent can often be settled and the high costs of a legal dispute avoided with the help of a workable rent index, explained Wiesner. The tenants’ association agrees with him. “For the tenants’ association, the rent index is particularly important as a protective instrument for tenants,” said Peter Kox.

Von Grünberg also appealed to all citizens who will be questioned by one of the around 50 interviewers in the coming days and weeks to participate. Around 3000 completed questionnaires are needed in the end to provide a workable rent index. The city of Bonn said all data would be evaluated and stored anonymously.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Kate Carey)

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