Saturday 26 November 2022

New rent rules in The Hague may squeeze landlords and expats

The Hague’s city hall. Photo: Ellywa via Wikimedia Commons

New rules for rental properties in The Hague could see some rents coming down, the city’s Liberal housing alderman has told the Financieele Dagblad.

The aim of the new rules, which have slapped income requirements on mid-market rental properties, is to ensure teachers, nurses and police officers can find a place to live in the city, Boudewijn Revis told the paper.

Since July 1, houses worth fewer than 185 points in the rent assessment system – equivalent to a rent of around €950 a month – have been limited to people earning no more than €57,000 for a single person or €67,000 for a couple.

People earning more than €4,400 gross a month must look outside the mid-market sector for a home.

Landlords are still free to charge what they like for a mid-market home but only people who meet the income requirements will be able to live in them. This may, Revis admitted, mean some landlords have to cut the rent to find people who can afford their properties.

‘A landlord must be free to set their own rents,’ he said. ‘But it is also important that a nurse is not squeezed out of the rental housing market by an expat.’

‘This measure could dampen housing rents, but that is not such a bad thing,’ he said. ‘It could be good if the prices cool down a little. And if they do drop, that is up to the landlords. We are not telling them what to do.’

25,000 new homes

The city is currently building 25,000 new homes in the region and that is likely to have a stronger effect on rents, Revis said.

One small landlord in The Hague told she had been forced to turn down an expat tenant for one of her apartments because he earned too much to qualify.

In the Netherlands, rental property is assessed according to a points system based on size, facilities, heating, number of bathrooms and outside space. Housing worth up to 144 points – which gives a maximum rent of just under €720 a month – are mainly reserved for people earning up to €38,035.

Houses worth more in points are not rent-controlled and landlords can set their own prices.

Amsterdam is also poised to introduce restrictions on who can live in mid-market properties – with a rent up to €1,000 from next year.

Have you been affected by the new rules in The Hague? Contact

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