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.