MPs to debate increasing rent controls, PVV still undecided

Photo: Hanneke Sanou

MPs will on Monday debate legislation to expand rent controls to cover more homes in the Netherlands, with the far right PVV likely to hold the balance of power.

The party is known to have doubts about the plan, and MP Barry Madlener told the Financieele Dagblad this week that it will be a “political choice” after the debate has taken place. The VVD and BBB, currently in talks with the PVV about forming a new coalition government, are both against the plan.

The legislation will hike the current maximum rent in the rent-controlled sector from €879 per month to €1,123 – based on the number of points a property is worth – and could come into effect this summer.

At the moment landlords have free choice in deciding the rent of property which is calculated to be worth more than 142 points in the regulatory system. Homes with fewer points are classed as social housing with a maximum price of €879 per month and only open to people on low incomes.

Ministry officials estimate the rent of some 300,000 homes will go down by an average of €190 when a new tenant moves in, and that 113,000 additional homes will become rent-controlled.

The changes should benefit international workers, particularly in the bigger cities, where landlords often charge high rents for tiny houses although the new rules will only apply to new tenancies.

Landlords, however, have described the move as a “fatal mistake”, warning that the regulations will lead smaller private landlords in particular to sell their property. They claim the regulations will lead to them selling up, because it will no longer be profitable to rent property out if rents are lowered.

There is also increasing evidence that landlords in the bigger cities are selling off their smaller properties to avoid them becoming part of the rent-controlled sector and the number of available homes has gone down sharply, according to rental platform Pararius earlier this month.

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