'High fines for slumlords'
D66 thinks that slumlords make students pay too much in student cities with room scarcity. In several cases, maintenance for these rooms and houses is not provided, and the party says some tenants are even threatened when they start protesting.
‘Currently, some students pay premium prices for damp old rooms with gaps in the window frames and leaky taps in the bathrooms. Sometimes, they look just like derelict buildings,’ D66 Member of Parliament Paul van Meenen says. His party wants to enforce high ‘fines’ for malicious landlords.
Rent assessment committee
A tenant who pays too much rent can submit his case to the rent assessment committee. The government proposes demanding a payment from the landlord for the sum of 300 euros for a first and second violation. D66 feels that this is not enough. ‘This does not scare malicious landlords, because this often makes it profitable to try to ask high rent prices from every student.’
That is why the party wants to increase the payment to 700 euros for a second violation, after which the ‘fine’ can increase to a maximum of 2,800 euros per case. ‘If the assessment committee rules against the landlord, then the student will also be reimbursed for the excess rent that was paid,’ the party proposes.
Under the government’s current proposal, the payment will increase to a maximum of 1,400 euros from the fourth violation onwards and will be reset after a period of one year.
Figures from the Dutch National Union of Students (LSVb) show that 75 per cent of students living in a rented room pay more rent than is permitted. On average, students pay 58.33 euros too much a month. The situation is most severe in Amsterdam, where students pay 138.12 euros a month in excess. Utrecht is number two on this list. In Groningen, nearly 600 reports have been filed to the rent assessment committee regarding slumlords in 2015.