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Green vice mayor wants limit on rents of 7 euros a square meter

Vienna's vice mayor Maria Vassilakou wants a referendum on whether to have a cap on property rental fees. The proposal is still open – but real estate experts have already criticised the proposal.

When asked to comment mayor Michael Häupl from the Social Democrats said that it was not currently the right time to say an opinion, but it would be debated and comment given when appropriate.

What is certain is that the suggestion by the Green politician Vassilakou will only go ahead if it also gets backing from the Social Democrats.

Vassilakou has suggested that a maximum of 7 euros per square metre should be charged to keep rent prices down in the capital.

But the Freedom Party and the People's Party criticised the suggestion strongly.

But Vienna Estate Agents Association boss Michael Pisecky said: "It is extremely expensive to maintain and indeed to renovate property. Putting a limit on rental fees means that nobody will invest in property anymore. It will mean a shortage of properties and a loss in value of the image of the city."

Pisecky said that the rental scene in Vienna is already overregulated. He said there are currently in the capital seven different ways of valuing property. There needs to be a deregulation if the market is to develop.

The Green deputies party colleagues on the national and regional level however supported her move as expected. Green party boss David Ellensohn said: "One person families can currently only afford to rent something with financial help."

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