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New rent rules infringe tenants' privacy, says law firm

Wednesday 07 March 2012

The cabinet has infringed the privacy of millions of people living in rented accommodation by allowing the tax office to pass on income details to their landlords, according to law firm Kennedy van der Laan.

The law firm looked into the move on behalf of tenants' lobby group Woonbond, which is now urging people to complain to the privacy watchdog CPB.

The problem stems from the cabinet's decision to allow landlords to put up the rent of high-income earners living in social housing by an extra 5%. They hope this will encourage people earning more than €43,000 to leave the rent-controlled sector or buy a home.

The legislation has not yet been approved by parliament. Despite this, ministers have allowed the tax office to tell landlords if their tenant breaks or is below the €43,000 barrier. In addition, tenants have not been told this information has been requested.

The CPB was highly critical of the proposal when it was drawn up last year because of the privacy issues.

© DutchNews.nl



 

Readers' Comments

Don't really see the problem here. When you apply for rented property you have to give all your details, mostly including a copy of a your most recent salary slip. So no more details are being disclosed than you disclose yourself when applying.

By Maria | 7 March 2012 9:05 AM

'The legislation has not yet been approved by parliament. Despite this, ministers have allowed the tax office to tell landlords if their tenant breaks or is below the €43,000 barrier. In addition, tenants have not been told this information has been requested.' - can anyone anywhere tell me what is right and appropriate about this regarding my privacy rights?? This is completely unauthorized and absolutely stupid from the Dutch government. I have already filed a formal complaint and will take the Dutch government to the EU courts if necessary. Now the whole idea, which initially I thought was a good idea, comes to a full stop. This is not well thought through or planned in any way.

By Bill | 7 March 2012 10:01 AM

The tax department has no right to divulge your information, and should be sued. It would be more correct to put the onus on the tenant. Unless the tenant can show a document from the tax department to his landlord stating his earnings fall below Euro 43,000pa, he should not be entitled to rent-subsidised housing. If a sitting tenant earns above the limit he should either look for accomodation outside of the social housing sector, or pay market rates. In NZ for example, your entitlement to subsidised rent is reviewed every 3 years - and if at that point you earn too much you must vacate the house for someone who really needs it. Just and fair.

By jaycee | 7 March 2012 3:35 PM

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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