Cabinet wants an end to high rent: ‘Those excessive prices are over’

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A fair rental price, more rental properties and faster sustainability of the entire middle sector: these are the three main points of the new Affordable Rental Housing Act that Minister Hugo de Jonge of Housing and Spatial Planning presented today. ‘People nowadays pay the top price for a home that is clearly not worth it,’ De Jonge told BNR political reporter Leendert Beekman.

Hugo de Jonge wants to put an end to excessive rent. (BNR)

In the past five years, new tenants in the four major cities have always paid 160 euros more per month than the previous tenants. And at the same time, more than 75,000 affordable owner-occupied homes were bought up and then rented out for the top price. ‘In short: there is no longer room in the city for teachers, police officers and nurses’, De Jonge adds. And according to the cabinet, that must change as soon as possible.

Mandatory points system

To ensure that De Jonge’s three main points become reality, the minister wants to introduce a mandatory points system such as the social rental sector already has. That has to be done in a slightly more modern way, because in addition to surface area and WOZ value, the sustainability of a home is also important these days. The starting point in the new points system is therefore: the more sustainable the home, the more a landlord can charge for it. ‘In this way the effect always ends up with the tenant: he will pay a lower rent or he will receive a better energy label,’ explains De Jonge.

The law must protect the middle segment of private rental. ‘These are homes that can be rented out on the basis of the new points system from the social rental limit up to a maximum price of around 1030 euros,’ says De Jonge. If landlords still ask for more than allowed, a fine will follow under the new law.

No need for developers to panic

According to the housing minister, there is absolutely no reason to be afraid as a landlord if the law comes into effect. ‘It is then still possible to be a good landlord, it’s just an end to those excessive prices.’ Nevertheless, the minister also understands the fears of investors and project developers. To ensure that new construction projects are not delayed, rental homes that are completed in 2024 will receive a surcharge of five percent of the maximum rent for ten years after completion.

The law is expected to be presented to the House of Representatives this fall. There is a good chance that the law will be passed, because it is a proposal from the coalition.

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