The reputation of the property sector, hit by successive scandals in recent years, could not get any worse, one might have thought.
But it can and it has thanks to the boss of one of the country’s largest housing cooperatives who has just been sacked.
It now now transpires he was involved in various shady deals, including one to buy a marina! And he is alleged to have had indirect links with Willem Endstra, a property investor suspected of operating as the banker of the underworld. He had even acquired a Maserati sports car as his company car and continued to use it after being told to sell it off.
Goodness knows what all this has got to do with renting flats at reasonable prices.
This story reflects the problems inherent in the property sector. Firstly, it is about big bucks: the directors of housing corporations have been criticised for giving themselves huge salaries. Secondly, the supervisory board idea doesn’t really work: they always react after the horse has bolted. Thirdly, the property world culture is by its nature shady. It still harbours too many wide boys.
What the sector needs is a mega clean up, with proper proactive supervision and courage to weed out the bad eggs. Unfortunately, even after this case, this is not likely to happen.
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