location surcharge justified?
The Supreme Court had to decide whether a location surcharge should be taken into account when determining the maximum permissible rent. In principle, a location surcharge is only permissible if the property in which the apartment is located is in a better than average location. The living environment of a typical “Gründerzeit quarter” is considered to be an average location. In order to determine whether the location is better, a comparison with other inner-city locations had to be carried out. Since the apartment is directly on the street, the landlord charged a discount for the street location, but a surcharge for the good transport connections and the proximity to shops.
The Supreme Court held in its judgment that the individual noise pollution for the specific apartment, which was already taken into account when determining the guideline rent by means of a deduction of 15 percent, was no reason to deny a location deduction. If there is an above-average noise exposure of more than 75 dB, this must also be taken into account in the location deduction. The proximity to the Guertel belt and the subway station and the petty crime that prevails there add to the burden of traffic, exhaust fumes and noise. The consideration of these factors by the Supreme Court showed that the location of the specific house should not be judged to be above average. The landlord is therefore not entitled to a location surcharge in this specific case.