News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





‘Housing corporations hunt for points to raise rent’

1 March 2007 - Rent teams encounter examples in which rents suddenly double from six hundred to twelve hundred euro or more, after the housing corporation has for example installed a new bathroom. Housing corporations deny that this is current practice.

“We are pretty concerned about the way in which housing corporations, to put it simply, are hunting for points”, said Rob Delno of the rent team responsible for supporting renters in ZuiderAmstel. “Formally that is allowed, but another question one should ask is whether this is what housing corporations have been created for”.

The Netherlands has a system in which points reflecting the quality of a house determine the maximum rent. If a house is awarded 143 points, amounting to a rent of over 615 euro, the rent is liberalised and the landlord can ask as much as he wants.

“What you often see now is that such a house has some 130 points, and when the tenant moves, the owner thinks, I will install a luxurious bathroom, a luxurious kitchen, thermostatic radiator knobs. I add all kinds of extras that will increase the number of points, and in this way I raise the number of points above 143”, said Delno.

“And that would not be so bad if they would say, we rent it out not for 600 but for 700 or 800 euro, for there is considerable demand for that category houses in Amsterdam as well, especially among the middle class. But there are corporations that know only one tariff, and that is immediately twelve, thirteen hundred euro. That is a different story of course”.

The practice would occur mainly in the so-called ‘golden wedge’, the popular neighbourhoods in Centrum, South and ZuiderAmstel.

The rent teams have heard stories that some housing corporations have special teams to raise houses with 130 points that come available to 143 points. De Key and de Alliantie deny working in such a way.

In addition, some corporations would go to court in order to arrive at 143 points after all, after an unfavourable ruling by the rent commission. Ramón Donicie of the Amsterdam rent teams: “With the help of expensive law firms they do all they can to raise the points. They say, no, there are two rows of trees here instead of one, so that is half a point more, and the playground [wipkippen] is not at 500 metres but at 200 metres distance from the house”.

The rent teams do not keep records on raising the rents and therefore cannot say whether this practice is becoming more prevalent. However, they are convinced that the cases that reach their offices are only the tip of the iceberg. In view of the tight housing market, many people accept high rents, even if they do not have to.

Donicie: “Let me put it this way, the housing corporations are no longer the social housing associations of ten, fifteen years ago, that is really something of the past”.

One of the housing corporations that would apply this method is de Key. However, spokesperson Daniëlle Klinkert denies that there is a policy to raise the points to 143 when new tenants move in. This would not fit with its social responsibility policy.

It does occur that rents are raised after extensive renovations. Even then, the rent remains in such cases between six hundred and nine hundred euro, Klinkert said. The share of liberalised houses among the property of de Key has been between three and four percent for years, she said, so there is no strong increase.

Klinkert acknowledges that there have been ‘one or two’ cases of houses at the Maasstraat which saw their rents more or less double. In these cases the rent was subsequently lowered, however, partly because the ZuiderAmstel District was concerned by the loss of affordable houses.

The example of the tree lines Donicie referred to was at Maasstraat 196 hs. Here, de Key had set the rent at 1,250 euro, but the rent commission ruled that it had to be lowered to 591.18 euro, according to Donicie. De Key appealed this decision in court. There is no court ruling yet and the rent has not been lowered yet, Donicie said.

Like Klinkert, Guido Lodders of de Alliantie said that his housing corporation does not have a policy of liberalising houses and then substantially raise the rent, even though he cannot rule out that this has happened on occasion. “Tenants can always say: do I get enough value for my money”.

The rent teams would like to see legislation changed, making landlords comply with the maximum rent above 615 euro as well. In addition, tenants should always be able to apply to the rent commission if their rent has been wrongly liberalised. Now they can also do so within six months.


Want to receive News from Amsterdam? Click here


This is the old website. Please find new content here