Neighborhood preservation areas: Subdivide before it is too late
Berlin is constantly in a state of change: new districts become “hip”, while other districts remain rather quiet. When a district is upgraded, for example through the renovation of buildings and the arrival of more affluent residents, rents often rise in the surrounding area – even for long-established tenants. With the “social preservation area”, the districts have a tool at hand that is intended to protect the resident population from possible forced relocation in such cases. A total of 58 social preservation areas with around 900,000 inhabitants currently exist in Berlin, most of them in Mitte, Neukölln, Pankow and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. But also Lichtenberg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Reinickendorf have designated corresponding areas. The declared goal of politics is to expand the neighborhood preservation areas. Although, as critics say, their designation is certainly politically motivated, the classification follows a fixed pattern: first an area is placed under observation and the population structure is analyzed. This is followed by the legal planning approval, which has the effect that construction projects that counteract the preservation objectives can be postponed for up to 12 months. The final step is establishing the preservation area.
The declaration of the preservation area entails strict conditions, especially for the local owners, not to mention decreasing property prices. After all, not only the so-called luxury modernizations or changes to the floor plan are regularly denied, but also, for example, the raising of the tile level in the bathroom, the installation of an (age-appropriate) elevator or the installation of high-quality flooring. In addition, the districts in social preservation areas have a right of first refusal to prevent speculative property sales. The division of residential and commercial buildings into apartments is made more difficult as well, but it offers the greatest possible flexibility: the owner can continue to rent out the apartments – or sell them as condominiums – without having to fear the district’s right of first refusal. The precondition for this, however, is that the certificate of completion and the declaration of division have been notarized prior to publication of the planning resolution. This may take weeks or months, depending on the case – you should therefore start now, especially as there is a chance that the division will be made even more difficult. The advantage for dividers: Owner-occupied condominiums usually generate higher prices than entire houses. David Borck Immobiliengesellschaft will be happy to assess your individual case and perform an evaluation before and after the division. Should there be an intention to sell in the end, the David Borck Immobiliengesellschaft will be happy to accompany the process until the final stage and, if desired, will also take over the marketing of the newly created apartments.
Here you can see the areas which are located in neighborhood preservation and are currently under observation.