Tenants Speak Out: Bill for More Rent Control Apartments Too Generous for Investors



Tenants are voicing concerns over a new bill aimed at increasing rent control apartments, claiming it favors investors over residents.

Outgoing Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge has made significant amendments to the Affordable Rent Act in response to concerns raised by the Council of State. The changes aim to ensure that the act remains profitable for investors who are looking to invest in new construction for mid-market rentals. However, these amendments have been met with criticism from the Woonbond, an association that advocates for the rights of tenants.


Tenants Speak Out: Bill for More Rent Control Apartments Too Generous for Investors

The Council of State had previously warned that the original version of the law could potentially lead to a decrease in the number of available rental properties. This could happen if investors decide to sell their rentals or invest less in new construction due to low yields. To address this issue, De Jonge has introduced a higher new construction surcharge to the bill. Landlords will now be able to charge an additional 10 percent on top of the rent for new construction projects that began before 2026. This surcharge also applies to the conversion of existing buildings.

Furthermore, De Jonge has made it possible for higher rent increases based on wage increases in collective labor agreements. Rents can now increase by the wage increase plus 1 percent, as opposed to the initial proposal of plus 0.5 percent. Despite these changes, the core principles of the Affordable Housing Act remain unchanged, according to the outgoing Minister.

The bill will extend the points system, which currently applies to social housing, to include rental properties with rents up to 1,123 euros and 1,235 euros for new construction. This system sets the maximum rent for a property based on factors such as size and insulation. It is estimated that the points system will save around 300,000 tenants an average of 190 euros per month on rent.

De Jonge has submitted the adjusted bill to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, with an urgent request for swift consideration. He aims to implement the law by July 1. However, the Woonbond has expressed dissatisfaction with the changes made by De Jonge. The association believes that the amendments favor landlords excessively and deviate from the original goal of protecting tenants from exorbitant rent prices. The Woonbond suggests that parliament should focus on limiting annual rent increases and reducing the influence of property value on the points system.

The amendments made by Minister Hugo de Jonge to the Affordable Rent Act have sparked debate and criticism from tenant advocacy groups. While the changes aim to address concerns raised by investors, they have been deemed too favorable to landlords by some. The future implementation of the law will likely continue to be a topic of contention among stakeholders.

Tenants Speak Out: Bill for More Rent Control Apartments Too Generous for Investors

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