SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert has sharply criticized Vonovia boss Rolf Buch. His statement that the rapid price development is forcing the housing group to increase rents in line with inflation is “gross nonsense,” Kühnert told the “Spiegel”. “And I assume that Mr. Buch knows that too,” added Kühnert.

“Vonovia and other housing groups only spend a manageable part of their rental income on services and goods that are actually massively affected by the current rise in prices,” said the SPD general secretary. A “huge part” of Vonovia’s rents go “instead for the lavish dividends of Vonovia shareholders,” he criticized.

Vonovia boss Buch had announced in the “Handelsblatt” on Thursday that if inflation was permanently at four percent, “rents would also have to increase accordingly every year in the future”. Among other things, the statements met with sharp criticism from the tenants’ association.

Kühnert emphasized that Vonovia made record profits last year. “But there is no legal right to record profits in Germany,” he said. “Breathtaking profits and at the same time press on the tear duct, that’s unabashed and transparent,” accused Kühnert of the CEO.

Vonovia has “earned a golden nose for years through its tenants,” Kühnert told the “Spiegel”. It is a question of decency “to set aside one’s own profit interests and to give the shareholders a clean slate: the good years are over”.