The outgoing government’s plan to expand rent controls to cover 90% of Dutch housing in an effort to increase the amount of affordable housing may have the opposite effect, the government’s most senior advisory body said on Monday.
The Council of State, which advises on all draft legislation, has been looking at the government plan to bring in rent controls for all property worth less than around €1,100 – a month according to the points system and the property’s value.
The government aims to ensure there is more rental housing available for people with average incomes, such as teachers and police officers.
However, the Council of State said, if landlords start selling off their rental properties and developers build fewer new ones, they will not be helped at all. And, the council said, it is unclear how the government plans to manage this risk.
Earlier on Monday, real estate advisory group CBRE warned that landlords are already selling off their homes and it expects the number of rental properties to go down by 100,000 as tenants leave and landlords sell the empty apartments.
The council said the government has not paid sufficient attention in its plans to the reasons why there is a shortage of affordable homes and says ministers must look into this in greater detail and assess the influence of their findings on the legislation.
In addition, the council said, the government is interfering too much with the rights of landlords and investors. This is an additional reason why the draft legislation should be looked at again to see if it really will make housing more affordable.
Housing minister Hugo de Jonge said the government is currently working on a plan to stimulate a major house-building programme, and that he hoped to present it to parliament shortly.
The draft legislation must still be debated and voted on in both houses of parliament and much depends on the outcome of Wednesday’s general election.
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