Housing foundations registry closed to the public after hundreds of complaints

Checking the foundations. Photo: DutchNews.nl
Checking the foundations. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The private agency which came up with a label claiming to show the state the foundations of every building in the Netherlands has blocked registry access to the public after receiving thousands of complaints.

The KCAF foundation said last month it was introducing the labelling system in response to a growing number of incidents where buildings have sunk or collapsed as a result of long-term drought and low groundwater levels. It hoped to have the label made compulsory, like the current energy label is on all homes which are for sale.

Some 850,000 home owners had checked the website to find out about the condition of their foundations and 3,000 had called for changes to be made in the register.

Hundreds of worried home owners also contacted other organisations about the labelling and the estimated cost of repairs. ‘Many of our members were totally shocked,’ Hans Andre de La Porte, of home owners lobby group Vereniging Eigen Huis told RTL Nieuws. ‘But you need to actually dig a hole to determine the actual state of the foundations,’ he said.

Other organisations said that the KCAF had used the wrong water table in some areas, such as Delft, and ignored more accurate information which they could have incorporated into their models, RTL said.

KCAF chairman Dick de Jong said last month one million of the 7.7 million houses in the Netherlands were vulnerable to subsidence. He admits not all the labels are accurate and hopes to reopen the register to the public next year.

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