Against the sellout of the city!

For the preservation of Hermannstraße 48!

Who? What? How?

What HAS happened?

Stilisiertes Haus

Our house was sold!

At the start of 2021 we found out that our house, Hermannstraße 48, had been sold.
In light of the recent developments in Schillerkiez (and the whole of Berlin) it was quickly clear that this was bad news. Displacement, gentrification and real estate speculation have been destroying our neighbourhood for years. Now gentrification had arrived right on our doorstep.

For us, there was never any doubt that we would do everything to prevent luxury renovation, conversion to condominiums and termination of rental contracts. We therefore asked the district of Neukölln to make use of the right of first refusal (‘Vorkaufsrecht’).
There followed two very stressful and hard-working months, in which we organised ourselves and built networks with other house communities. Together with the Mietshäuser Syndikat and many supporters who offered direct loans, we were finally able to persuade both the bank and the district of Neukölln to let us buy Hermannstraße 48 ourselves!

At the end of February we were able to celebrate a first, partial success: the district exercised the right of first refusal in our favour. The possibility of turning the H48 into a communally run project as part of the Mietshäuser Syndikat was now within touching distance.

Both the seller and the buyer filed a lawsuit against the district’s decision to make us a third-party buyer in September 2021.

Two months later, at the start of November 2021 – while the lawsuit was still ongoing, a judgement from the Federal Administrative Court dealt us a bitter blow. This judgement rendered the entire communal right of first refusal across the country as good as useless. Since then, it can no longer be used as an instrument against displacement and to protect renters. This is not only a catastrophe for all houses that will be sold in the future, but also means insecurity for the houses that have so far been protected by avoidance agreements (‘Abwendungsvereinbarungen’).

We have therefore joined the initiative ‘New right of first refusal now!’ Our joint press release has already been signed by countless housing associations and urban policy initiatives.
More information is available at (so far only available in German).

The ‘traffic light’ coalition in the German government has so far done nothing to restore a legally secure right of first refusal.

And Since Then?

To our great regret, the district decided in early 2022 to withdraw the notification of pre-purchase (‘Vorkaufsbescheid’).
The sale to a real estate company thus became legally binding.
We will, however, not give up, but will continue to fight for our home and for the right to stay of those who live here.

Who are we and what are we fighting for?

Haus mit einem Herz in der Mitte

Our house community

More than 140 people live and work at Hermannstraße 48 – some of them have been doing so for decades. H48 houses families, individuals and large shared flats. There are also various businesses such as a wood workshop, a hairdressing salon, locksmiths/shoemakers and therapy centers.

Our tenant community is a cross-section of Neukölln neighborhoods: pensioners, children, students, wage labourers, unemployed and self-employed persons, artists and craftspeople. Flint (Women*, Lesbian*, Inter*, Non-binary* and Trans*) and BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) persons live here, as well as disabled persons and people who simply cannot afford a rent increase. For all of us, Hermannstraße 48 is our home and shelter.

We enjoy living and working here and want to continue to do so. Other affordable residential or commercial space will probably no longer be available to any of us.

The factory building

The inhabitants of the factory building in the 2nd courtyard find themselves in a particularly precarious situation. The large shared flats, which have in some cases been here for 40 years, only have commercial rental contracts. These offer no cancellation protection.

It doesn’t take much imagination to predict what investors want to do here: kick out the large shared flats and replace them with luxury lofts or start-ups.

One shared flat has already had its rental contract cancelled, and its renters were forcibly evicted when they didn’t want to hand over the keys. It is important for us to preserve these spaces, which enable alternative living possibilities beyond the nuclear family and one-person apartments.

The project room

In addition to apartments and businesses, H48 is also home to the project room, financed on a solidarity basis. It is managed by various initiatives and groups and is used for lectures, film screenings, discussions and many other events. The space is also used by the house community for regular meetups and table football sessions (not during the pandemic, of course). 

The project room is an important political networking space in and for the neighbourhood. Such spaces have, it goes without saying, consistently been threatened in the past and many have faced eviction.

Nach oben gereckte Faust

H48 Stories






H48 @ 48H Neukölln

We participate in 48h Neukölln!



New right of first refusal now!

The decision of the Federal Administrative Court of November 9th, 2021 renders the municipal right of first refusal useless as an instrument against displacement. This is unacceptable! In Berlin alone, tenants in over 9.000 flats are acutely threatened. That is why we have joined forces with other initiatives and housing associations in the initiative "New right of first refusal now!" More on this under 'Press'.

Arslans Grab mit vielen Blumen und einem Foto von ihm

We mourn the death of Arslan Demir

Our longtime neighbour Arslan Demir passed away on May 26, 2021. We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of this warm-hearted and genuine person. Hermannstraße 48 was home to his carpentry business as well as his apartment. Arslan Demir was a very sociable and enriching part of our neighbourhood and community. May he rest in peace.

Das Bild zeigt das oberste Stockwerk des Hermannshofs. Darüber steht "Wohnen mit Gewerbemietverträgen?! Kündigungsschutz auch für (ehemalige) Fabriketagen"

New press release

The housing situation of the people in the factory building at H48 (and elsewhere!) is particularly precarious. Scroll down to our "press release" section to find out more. *The picture says: "Living with a commercial lease? Protection against dismissal also for (former) factory floors!"

Wir zittern weiter um die H48

The uncertainty continues…

Both the new buyer and the previous owner have filed an objection against the right of first refusal (Vorkaufsrecht). This is now being examined by the district – and the uncertainty continues… *The picture says: "The struggle continues, our fight continues: Buyer and previous owner file an objection against preemption."

Wir sind Drittkäufer*in der H48

We are the third-party buyer!

Good news: the district is exercising the right of first refusal (Vorkaufsrecht) in our favour! We ourselves are therefore the third-party buyers. Unfortunately, things are still not yet 100% certain. More soon! *The picture says: "We are the official third party buyer."

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