Currently, landlords that charge too much rent for their houses can only be confronted via the rent assessment committee (an independent authority). Via this committee, tenants can be paid back excess rent from the landlord.
This system is not effective, according to PvdA MP Albert de Vries. Tenants have too few tools to make sure they are not paying too much rent, De Vries says. ‘It should be fairer. That is why we’re asking the minister to focus on landlords who are taking advantage.’
It is too easy for landlords to circumvent the points system that is used to determine whether the rent is fair. This has a disrupting effect on the market, says MP Roald van der Linde (VVD). ‘The rules apply to everyone. With this proposal, we hope to better safeguard this in the future.’
The Dutch Student Union (LSVb) is happy with the proposal. Chair Jarmo Berkhout says, ‘Everyone knows that students are often forced to pay exorbitant amounts on rent in outrageous ways by slum landlords. Until recently, there wasn’t much you could do.’
The growing number of complaints regarding landlords on the private housing market was enough reason for the Groningen Student Union (GSb) and the municipality to set up the Undesirable Renting Behaviour Hotline (MOV).
The GSb intends to use the hotline to keep files on landlords who systematically display unacceptable behaviour, after which the municipality can take action.