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Department of Social Sciences
Project funded by DFG

Private landlords in Germany: Social situations, positioning, and courses of action

As the largest group of providers on the German rental housing market, very little is known about private landlords and landladies – even in times of heated public debates on rising rents and their social consequences including inequality dynamics. We dig deeper.

Brief description

In our research, we observe the biggest provider group of appartments in Germany: private small-scale landlords. We investigate which motives, experiences, pattern of action and attitudes small-scale landlords have, and how they asses their role as important housing providers in the light of specific conditions. In this way, we broaden our view beyond clichés such as the greedy “rent shark” or the rented apartment as a poverty-avoiding old-age provision. With a perspective on theories of social inequality, we focus on the conflict potential of tenancy relationships as well as on real estate as a special component of wealth. Empirically, we are addressing the questions with a mixture of quantitative secondary (also cross-country comparative) data analyses and qualitative guides interviews.

Research Team

Head Prof. Dr. Nicole Burzan
Responsible research associate Philipp Kadelke
Student assistant Claudio Möller



2024 Kadelke, Philipp: At home in the upper strata: Social positions of small-scale landlords in a European cross-country perspective. Culture, Practice & Europeanization. Available from 06/2024.  
2023 Kadelke, Philipp: Private Kleinvermieter*innen in Deutschland. Ein Sozialprofil der größten Anbietergruppe auf dem Mietwohnungsmarkt. Easy Social Sciences (GESIS), Mixed , 1 – 11. Link
2023 Kadelke, Philipp: Landlords vs tenants = top vs bottom? Class positions in rental housing in Germany. Critical Housing Analysis, 10 (1), 66 – 76. Link
2023 Kadelke, Philipp: Private Vermieter*innen in Deutschland: Kleine Gruppe mit großer Wirkung, in: Villa Braslavsky, P.-I. (Ed.): Polarisierte Welten: 41. Kongresses der DGS 2022. Link





2024 Sektionenkonferenz der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie (Osnabrück), Panel: Neue Perspektiven auf Klasse und Eigentum. Link
2023 62. Deutscher Kongress für Geografie 2023 (Frankfurt am Main), Session: Vergesellschaftung der Daseinsvorsorge.  Link
2022 41. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2022 (Bielefeld), Session: Druck auf dem Wohnungsmarkt.  Link