Amsterdam scraps plan to legalise flat sharing on one contract


Amsterdam city council has abandoned plans to bring back legalised flat sharing following a raft of criticism from tenants’ rights groups.

City housing chief Zita Pels had planned to make it easier for small groups of young adults to share homes via a single contract from 2024, something which the city clamped down on in 2020.

“Because of the impact on tenants’ rights, and the negative reactions,” the council will stick to the individual contract rules for flat sharers, Pels told councillors on Wednesday.

Student union Asva initially backed the introduction of so-called “friends” contracts but later withdrew its support, citing concerns about the impact on tenants’ rights.


Pels’ plans will also require housing corporations to request official permission if they want to sell off social housing and sales will only be sanctioned if there will be a quantifiable improvement to the neighbourhood.

The council also plans to do more to encourage people renting large family homes to move once their offspring have left home.

Amsterdam currently has a population of 921,000 but that is expected to top one million in the near future.

The shortage of affordable housing is so great that in 2021, only 23 people were able to move into a rent-controlled property who were not on a priority list.

The new plans also make choices about who should be helped in the tough city housing market, and that means the council will not invest time and money in housing high income groups, expats with a high income and international students, Pels said earlier.

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