Friday 29 April 2016

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Private sector rents skyrocket in the Netherlands

Housing

New tenants in the private sector in Amsterdam are paying an average monthly rent of over €2,200 for a 100 square metre property, according to research by housing platform Pararius.The same property in Rotterdam would cost €1,350 per month, and €1,250 in Eindhoven, the Pararius figures show.The cost of rental in the private housing sector increased by 6.2% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2015, bringing the average price per square metre per month from €12.61 to €13.38.The increase is most pronounced in Amsterdam, where the average price per m2 per month is now €22.34, an 11.5% increase since last year.Pararius CEO Jasper De Groot says the increase is partly due to a lack of available private sector houses. Only one in 20 houses in the Netherlands is in the so-called free sector. Of the remaining 19, eight are rent controlled social housing and 11 are owner occupied.Disadvantages for tenantsThe problem is compounded by a Supreme Court decision at the end of last year that ruled that brokers and agents can only ask commission from landlords in the negotiation process.‘Landlords are now being confronted with these broker’s fees, and adding them to the rent,' De Groot told DutchNews.nl. ‘This is what we hear from all of our agents in the Netherlands. The winner is the landlord and not the tenant.’The exact role that that broker fees play in rent hikes is unclear, although De Groot insists that it is a significant factor.Agent‘Every expat in the Netherlands needs to hire their own agent who acts on their behalf,’ he said. ‘It will cost them a month’s rent but it’s a wise thing to do. They can negotiate the rent down and make you a solid rental agreement.’‘It would be better if there were a lot more rental properties in the free sector, but it would also be nice if the government introduced better laws to make owners more flexible in renting out their properties,’ De Groot told DutchNews.nl.  More >


Social housing rents to rise 1% in July

HousingRents in the social housing sector will rise by an average of 1% in July, the lowest rate for several years, according to official figures reported by public broadcaster Nos on Monday.Tenants on low incomes – up to €34,678 a year – will see a more modest increase of 0.7%. The new average rates, compliled by Aedes, the association of Dutch housing corporations, are in line with the voluntary agreement drawn up with the tenants' organisation Woonbond.In 2014 the average rent rise was 3.4% and last year the figure was 2.2%.Marc Calon, chairman of Aedes, said: 'Corporations are on the side of their tenants and affordable housing. There is a reason we agreed with the Woonbond to moderate the increase in rent.'Our actions have matched our words: people on low incomes will hardly see any increase in their rent this year. That is a good deal.'Housing corporations are allowed to put up their rents in line with inflation plus up to 4% for people who earn above the technical limit for social housing.  More >


Amsterdam votes to legalise flat sharing

HousingAmsterdam city council has voted to legalise flat sharing in the city, abolishing a rule which states that more than two adults can only share a property bigger than 60m2.Thousands of people in the capital share a house or flat with two or more friends or fellow students, but in many cases this is technically illegal. An estimated 13,000 homes in Amsterdam are shared by more than three adults, many of which are too small to meet council requirements, the Parool said at the weekend.Some housing corporations, such as Rochdale, have already introduced contracts which allow groups of friends to live together.The council said in a press release that flat sharing is a realistic option to find an affordable home. The council is planning a major publicity offensive to make landlords aware of the new option.  More >