MPs vote to scrap most temporary contracts for flats and rooms
As expected, MPs have voted to stop landlords from using temporary rental housing contracts in a move they say will boost tenants’ rights.
MPs also voted to stop landlords with shared housing offering people single rooms on a short-term basis, although this will remain an option for landlords providing housing for foreign students.
Temporary contracts for flats and houses were introduced in 2016 with the aim of encouraging more people to rent out property. However, MPs say, the result has been to increase housing insecurity while allowing landlords to put up rents repeatedly for new tenants.
Landlords will still be able to give tenants shorter contracts if they are travelling abroad for work or need the property for a child or parent. And student housing companies can still make use of a special clause requiring tenants to prove they are still at a college or university.
The new legislation, which still needs to be approved in the senate, has been welcomed by housing rights groups. “The 2016 law seriously damaged the rights of tenants,” said Gert Jan Bakker from Stichting Woon in Amsterdam. “In many cases they had no leg to stand on if their landlord wanted them out.”
Landlords’ organisations, however, warn that the measure will only encourage more people to sell their property.
“Flexibility in the housing market is being limited even more,” Patrick Smolders from the Amsterdam rental agents association told the Parool. “We have already seen that rental housing is being sold off, particularly by people who just have a single property. They don’t want to be stuck with tenants and are terrified of getting bad ones.”
Jasper de Groot of housing platform Pararius said that landlords are facing so many new rules that they are giving up en masse. “And the worst, expanding rental controls to mid-market rentals, is yet to come,” he pointed out.
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