In order to help more people with middle incomes in the city to find affordable rental housing, Minister De Jonge published his bill today with new points for rental housing. This proposal states that landlords who ask too much for a home can be fined 20,000 euros.
These are plans that have already been announced to get more affordable rental homes through a new scoring system. As with the construction of homes, De Jonge also wants to give the government more control when it comes to calculating rents.
For many people, especially in the cities, there are no affordable rental homes, says De Jonge. With a median income of between 40,000 and 56,000 euros per year, they are not entitled to social rent, but the private sector is often too expensive.
‘Don’t leave it to the market’
An explanation of the plans states that while mid-market inventory increased by 28 percent between 2015 and 2021, the rental sector above 1,000 euros grew by 135 percent. De Jonge wants to change the points system and no longer leave rents up to 1000 euros per month to the market.
According to De Jonge, many tenants pay the top price for a home that “is really not worth it”. “Tenants often have no choice and have their backs against the wall. More and more homes have become inaccessible for people with a middle income.”
De Jonge will now use the WWS, the home valuation system. The points system is now used to calculate rents in the social sector and runs up to 142 points. In De Jonge’s plans, that point limit can be raised and houses between 142 and 187 points will cost a maximum of 1,000 euros per month.
According to De Jonge, about 300,000 people will benefit. Tenants are also better protected in the new law. The points system will become mandatory, which means that landlords who ask too much for a home risk an administrative fine. For the first violation, it is 20,000 euros, but that can rise to 90,000 euros for landlords who continue to commit the offense.
‘Energy label and garden count more’
Among other things, homes with better energy labels receive more points in the new system. More points will soon be awarded to outdoor space such as a balcony or garden. And the limit at which the WOZ value of a home counts will be raised from 142 to 187 points, so that homes cannot end up in the free sector solely due to a high WOZ value.
The housing association has already expressed concerns about the plans. There is a fear that social rental homes will disappear into the more expensive rental segment. And landlords fear that with even more complicated rules, projects will be delayed or investors will drop out.
De Jonge says that it could well be that some landlords then say that it is “no longer profitable” and that they will sell houses. He actually sees this as “good news” because it would mean that “more affordable owner-occupied homes will become available again.” affordable house”.
The new points system should apply to both existing and new buildings. In order not to slow down current new construction projects, a surcharge will be introduced for projects still to be delivered of 5 percent of the maximum rent up to ten years after completion.
In the middle segment of the rental market, the mandatory points system will only apply to new contracts. In the social sector, where points are already often used, the changes will also apply to existing contracts. Landlords will be given a transition year to comply with the requirements.
The House of Representatives is expected to discuss the plans after the summer.
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