A group of private landlords have launched a mass claim against the government in protest at changes to the rules for rent-controlled property.
The full official value of a property used to be taken into account when working out how many points an apartment has – which then determines the maximum rent.
However, since 2022, landlords are only allowed to use one-third of the property’s value in the calculation. This means the property has fewer points and could then fall into the rent-controlled sector.
The government estimates some 23,000 homes that could have become too expensive will stay classified as social housing, and some 15,000 homes will revert to the rent-controlled sector, when current contacts expire.
This is particularly the case in big cities where property is expensive, and landlords have been able to charge high rents for small flats.
The landlords, united in the Fair Huur (fair rent) foundation, say the rules are an infringement of their rights as owners. They want the measure scrapped and are demanding compensation from the government for their loss of income.
They argue that a 50 square metre flat in a prime Amsterdam location would then cost some €750 per month rather than around €1,600 as at present. The value of property would also fall because of the lower rents, they say.
Some 400 investors have signed up for the mass claim, with some 10,000 homes between them.
At the moment landlords have free choice in deciding the rent of property which is calculated to be worth more than 143 points in the regulatory system. Homes with fewer points are classed as social housing with a maximum price of €808 per month.
Points are awarded for amenities such as the number of bedrooms, whether or not the apartment has luxury bathroom fittings and the age of the property.
The government also plans to expand rent controls to cover properties worth up to €1,100 in the points system.
People who suspect their rent is higher than the maximum allowed can take the issue to a rent tribunal, as long as they do it within six months of signing the contract.
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