Next attempt against Rigger 94 (2nd current)

In a major operation in the summer of 2021, this was not the first time the police faced resistance.

Photo: DPA/Carsten Cooley

In the coming months, several negotiations in conflict over the tenancy and ownership structure at Rieger Strae 94 are pending in court. The first trial before Kreuzberg district court begins this Thursday – the plaintiffs are seeking to vacate an apartment in the disputed home. This is followed by negotiations for ten more eviction actions against the tenants of the House Project, attorney Benjamin Hersh said of “ND.” He is the protector of the tenants concerned in three of these proceedings. On December 17, one of the eviction lawsuits will be negotiated, with the remaining dates yet to be set, he says.

“We are still assuming that the owner’s power of attorney is not valid,” Hersh said. For years, Berlin courts have been grappling with whether lawyer Marcus Bernau has been adequately authorized by the British letterbox company Lafon Investments Ltd., which owns the home. “So far, not a single court has held a power of attorney of attorney to be valid in a judgment,” said an expert lawyer in tenancy law. In the past, an urgent process had only a decision that recognized a power of attorney, and only on the grounds that such an urgent process did not require more extensive evidence to make it valid. “As of now we do not even know where the owner of the house is. She has yet to appear in court,” says Hersh. Furthermore, it was unclear whether Lafon Investments Ltd would have legal capacity in Germany after the UK left the EU.

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The Kreuzberg District Court has already indicated in documents in the current proceedings that there are doubts about the power of attorney. Another defender in the process is Heinrich Solf, who works with Benjamin Hersch and other lawyers to support the residents of Rieger 94. In the specific case, the tenants were terminated by the other party because the rent was paid by the residents to the wrong account. “The tenants were not properly informed about the change of ownership and have therefore been transferred to the old owner,” says Solf to “ND”.

On trial day this Thursday, Solf is not expected to deliver a verdict. “This conversation will not be the last in the process,” he says. There are still some questions to be answered by the opposing side, which have to be answered in taking evidence if needed. “If the court is brave, it will dismiss the trial outright,” says his colleague, Benjamin Hersh. However, it is more likely that the judge will explain in detail why he does not consider the power of attorney to be valid, and a date for the announcement of the decision will follow. “In either case, the court will determine how things are with respect to the issue of the power of attorney,” Hersh said.

From this point of view, the first of many eviction procedures could lead to further proceedings against the residents of the house project. “It could be a preliminary decision on the validity of the power of attorney that other departments handle,” attorney Hersh said. However, there are different judges responsible for the other ten proceedings, who may also decide differently from the courts today.

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In February there has also been another conversation about the »Kaderschmeide «, pub and venue in Rigar 94. Its withdrawal has been repeatedly stopped in the past due to insufficient power of attorney. A decision in the current proceedings can also be decisive for this process, says Hersch, who represents the “Kaderschmeade” in the proceedings.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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