This February 2019 research guide aims to help tenants* answer two questions: Who owns my apartment? Who earns from my rent? The authors write about this approach:

“If you start with your own home, you understand step by step who owns the city, who benefits from privatization and the growing financialized real estate market, and what needs to change.”

Starting with a brief sketch of three different, exemplary residential property situations in Zossener Strasse in Berlin, the 70-page publication explains basic concepts of the real estate industry: land register, commercial register, company forms, annual financial statements, house value or rental income. The authors write about the complex structures and conditions:

“Along with the phenomenon of cheap money in search of returns comes the financialization of the real estate market. That is, techniques and methods from the world of finance are applied to the real estate market. The days when a person owned a building that they rented out are slowly disappearing. More and more often, buildings are owned by a company, which in turn is owned by a company, perhaps listed on the stock exchange or in a real estate fund. Financialization means that real estate can and even must be resold as quickly as possible with the highest possible increase in value – because annual return expectations of ten percent or more often cannot be met with rents alone.”

Numerous clearly arranged illustrations and graphics help to understand the complex research results in an exemplary way. At the end, in addition to a checklist for your own research, there is an extensive list of links to company databases and online tools that help you visualize complex company structures.

The handbook was developed in the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s work context“RLS-Cities-Rebellious, Left, Solidary” and can be downloaded here free of charge.


Comments are closed.