Landlords are asking too much rent for thousands of Rotterdam homes which are officially rent controlled, according to research by statistics bureau Realstats on behalf the city council.
Under the points system, housing worth up to 142 points should have been rented out for no more than €763 per month last year but Realstats found that many of the city’s apartments were being rented out for far more. The limit for social housing this year is €808.
Rents of €1,000 or even €1,500 per month were far from exceptional, Realstats said. While tenants can agree to pay more than the official value of their property, those who decide to take their landlord to a rent tribunal because their rent is so high will almost always win.
A similar picture emerged in Utrecht earlier this month. A Utrecht city initiative to support tenants who have problems with their landlords helped 715 people last year.
The Huurteam Utrecht said in its annual report that its members had been able to get tenants a combined rent reduction of over €600,000 last year. On average rents were cut by €172 per month, but in one case the landlord was ordered to slash payments by €1,053.
Housing rights campaign group Woonbond says the number of points that a property is worth – based on size, location, amenities and extras such as luxury bathrooms – should always be included in a rental contract.
Housing minister Hugo de Jonge is planning to introduce this as part of legislation he aims to send to parliament after the summer. That legislation will also extend the limit for rent controls to 187 points – which will cover property costing up to €1,100 a month.
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