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Edited by Christoph U. Schmid

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Edited by Christoph U. Schmid

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Christoph U. Schmid

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Christoph U. Schmid

Switzerland, Austria and Germany have the highest share of tenants in Europe. Economically, rental tenancies constitute an efficient debt financing of housing needs; renting is thus more beneficial than owner occupation. This finding gives rise to a basic thesis: To the extent that balanced regulation contributes to high shares of rental tenancies, it also accounts for macroeconomic benefits. For Austria, this thesis may be confirmed only partially with respect to the well-regulated and organised social rental sector funded by the state. However, private rentals are covered by complicated regimes most of which stipulate forms of statutory rent control. The Swiss case is more in point: Tenancy law is regulated in a relatively balanced way although there is a certain pro landlord-tendency. However, the resort to tenancies may also be explained by the lack of viable alternatives, due to the lack of social housing, very high prices and a prohibitive tax treatment. The German case is most in point. Regulation is relatively equilibrated, though with slight advantages for tenants; the ‘Mietspiegel’, a statistical compilation of comparative rents, constitutes a viable compromise solution between free market rents and rents fixed by statute. Yet, the current balance of private rental markets is fragile.

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Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in Europe

Towards Regulatory Equilibrium

Edited by Christoph U. Schmid

Tenancy law has developed in all EU member states for decades, or even centuries, but constitutes a widely blank space in comparative and European law. This book fills an important gap in the literature by considering the diverse and complex panorama of housing policies, markets and their legal regulation across Europe. Expert contributors argue that that while unification is neither politically desired nor opportune, a European recommendation of best practices including draft rules and default contracts implementing a regulatory equilibrium would be a rewarding step forward.
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Christoph U. Schmid

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Annika Klopp and Christoph U. Schmid

Switzerland, Austria and Germany have the highest share of tenants in Europe. Economically, rental tenancies constitute an efficient debt financing of housing needs; renting is thus more beneficial than owner occupation. This finding gives rise to a basic thesis: To the extent that balanced regulation contributes to high shares of rental tenancies, it also accounts for macroeconomic benefits. For Austria, this thesis may be confirmed only partially with respect to the well-regulated and organised social rental sector funded by the state. However, private rentals are covered by complicated regimes most of which stipulate forms of statutory rent control. The Swiss case is more in point: Tenancy law is regulated in a relatively balanced way although there is a certain pro landlord-tendency. However, the resort to tenancies may also be explained by the lack of viable alternatives, due to the lack of social housing, very high prices and a prohibitive tax treatment. The German case is most in point. Regulation is relatively equilibrated, though with slight advantages for tenants; the ‘Mietspiegel’, a statistical compilation of comparative rents, constitutes a viable compromise solution between free market rents and rents fixed by statute. Yet, the current balance of private rental markets is fragile.

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Christoph U Schmid and Sofija Nikolic

Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen federal states. Most of the legislative and administrative powers related to housing were transferred from the federation to the federal states in the 2007 constitutional reform. As to the tenure structure, more than half of the whole housing stock is rented (among which about 5 per cent is social rented housing), while owner-occupied housing represents only 42.3 per cent. Although the right to housing is not an individually enforceable right, persons threatened with eviction may resort to various protection mechanisms, and there are administrative precautions for the prevention of homelessness after an eviction. On the one hand, the court is obliged to inform the local social authority responsible for housing homeless people about the start of eviction proceedings. The same obligation falls on a bailiff before the execution of an eviction order. On the other hand, according to the police, security and regulatory laws of the federal states, municipalities have a duty to provide temporary accommodation for evicted people.

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Christoph U Schmid, Jason R Dinse and Tsubasa Wakabayashi

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Edited by Padraic Kenna, Sergio Nasarre-Aznar, Peter Sparkes and Christoph U. Schmid