Gas production company NAM has been ordered by judges in Leeuwarden to immediately start compensating home owners in Groningen for the loss of value caused by the earthquakes.
NAM had said it is only willing to pay the difference once the property has been sold but the appeal court judges agreed with an earlier court ruling which said compensation should be paid now.
Research bureau Atlas voor Gemeenten said last year that between 2012 and 2017 homes in the earthquake zone in Groningen have fallen in value by an average of 2.2% because the region’s reputation has been damaged.
The researchers focused their attention on areas in which at least 20% of the homes were damaged by earthquakes and found that homes that were not physically damaged also went down in value.
Homes in Loppersum, a centre of many of the quakes, lost an average of 8% of their value, while homes in the city of Groningen are now between 0.9% and 2.9% cheaper.
A foundation representing 4,000 home owners said it now wanted to get round the table with NAM as soon as possible to start fleshing out the compensation deal. ‘Four years after we started legal action, it is about time,’ chairman Lolke Weegenaar told broadcaster NOS.