Private Rental Housing

Private Rental Housing

Comparative Perspectives

Edited by Tony Crook and Peter A. Kemp

A new focus on private renting has been brought into sharp relief by the global financial crisis, with its profound impact on mortgage finance, housing markets and government budgets. Written by specially commissioned international experts and structured around common themes, this timely book explores the nature and role of private renting in eight advanced economies around the world.

Chapter 2: Germany

Peter A. Kemp and Stefan Kofner

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, cities, urban studies


The German housing system is of particular interest from a comparative housing perspective because of its large PRS. In contrast to most advanced economies, almost half of all households rent their home from a private landlord. Only Switzerland among the advanced economies has a larger PRS. Since the Second World War, German housing policy has, by and large, been marked by tenure neutrality and hence there has not been the one-sided focus on homeownership that characterizes housing policy in many liberal market economies. The providers of rental housing serve a relatively broad range of household types rather than just particular market niches such as the young, mobile people, and the poor. Rental housing is by no means marginalized and private renting is not seen as an inferior housing tenure.

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