A graduated lease (“Staffelmietvertrag”) is a special form of rental contract. In this case, a regular rent increases is determined in the contract, as for every year a new rental price is set that exceeds the previous one. However, other kinds of rent increases are excluded in this type of contract, such as an increase due to renovation. The following rules must be followed for the regular rent increases to be valid:
- Date of the next rent increase must be clearly stated
- Rental price or increase stated as monetary value
- There must be at least one year in between rent increases
In some cases the rent increase can be relatively high due to the fact that some general regulations on rent increases do not apply. Therefore, the rent may also increase by more than 20%. However, in areas with a highly competitive housing markets, the rent may not be more than 20% higher than the local comparable rent. If the rent is more than 20% higher than the local comparable rent, the landlord must pay a fine. If the difference is more than 50%, it is punishable as a crime.