Single glazing ruled a “defect” in court, landlord urged to act

Historic houses are often forbidden from properly insulating

The tenant of a listed building in Amsterdam has won a court case against her landlord, who refused to equip the property with double glazing and better insulation unless she agreed to pay more rent.

The tenant pays €1,655 per month to live in the city centre property which dates from 1665 and claimed the landlord had been negligent in failing to fit double glazing throughout the entire property, even though the company had a permit to do so.

The rules for installing double glazing in listed buildings are complex and make the process expensive. The landlord, a property company named Famongo, had a tender to improve the insulation and fit double glazing for €35,000.

The court ruled that the lack of double glazing in a property can now be considered a “defect” and ordered the landlord to take action within four months.

Some one million homes in the Netherlands still have single glazing, of which around 100,000 are in Amsterdam.

The city’s tenants’ advisory group Woon has now urged the cabinet to take action against landlords who don’t install double glazing, following the court ruling. “You don’t need to change the law, just add single glazing to the list of defects,” a spokesman told the Parool. “Then you won’t have any more legal discussions.”

The official list of defects in a rental property ranges from serious leaks and mold to not having running water and excessive noise.

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