Amsterdam is cracking down on landlords who leave their homes empty, almost doubling penalties for not reporting a building vacant.
The city said in a press release that the ‘experimental’ policy is likely to run from December this year until the start of 2025, if it is passed as expected by a council vote.
Currently, home owners are obliged to register with the city if their building is empty for more than six months. Under 2016 legislation, the council has powers to order landlords of office buildings and homes to take a tenant if a building is empty for more than 12 months – under threat of a €7,500 penalty.
The city can also then determine the maximum rent.
The new rules will mean that people who do not report their home or office vacant for six months, face a fine of €4,500 for private home owners (up from €2,500) and €9,000 for professional renters (up from €5,000 currently).
Zita Pels, deputy mayor charged with housing, said it was important to stimulate owners to rent out their property right now. ‘There is a high housing shortage in our city,’ she said in a press statement.
‘We have too few homes and many are unnecessarily vacant. I am pleased that we can now tackle this better. In this day and age, it is impossible to understand why homes would be empty. So we are going to ensure that homes are there again to live in.’
The rules are being introduced under the city’s crisis powers, after discussion with local areas within the city.
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