On Tuesday 9 February, the House of Representatives will vote on the Rental Market Flow Act. The law aims, among other things, to introduce 1- and 5-year leases that are widely applicable. The Vacancy Act will also be expanded with the category of rental properties for sale. In order to promote the flow from and sale of social housing, rents are again being substantially increased and contracts made more temporary.
The debate about this far-reaching attack on tenancy law has been rushed within a week. There was a true rain of amendments, so that no party has the overview anymore. Depending on which party spoke last, either the elderly were spared at the expense of the families, or the families at the expense of the elderly. A system as far-reaching as tenancy law deserves more attention.
The BPW argues that the real problem is on the supply side; a growing shortage of public / social housing, this will not be solved by this law. In fact, the activities of housing corporations are severely curtailed. Minister Blok aims to drive as many people as possible out of the public social rental sector through temporary contracts and rent increases. The free market has to solve it. With yet another significant curtailment of the rights of tenants.
The BPW strongly opposes the flexibility of renting. The existing problems with temporary letting are already very serious (see www.bondprecairewoonvorm.nl) and will not be solved. More and more tenants find themselves outside the social system of rent protection without social (re)housing rights. This leads to growing housing insecurity among large groups of tenants. In recent years, the possibilities for temporary rental have been expanded without any rights for tenants.
2006 Campus contracts
2010 Lawless Anti-squat contracts
2013 Expansion of Vacancy Act 5, 7, 10 years
2016 1-5 years of contracts + expansion of the Vacancy Act with the category of rental properties for sale
Bad leases gradually displace good leases. There is often no choice left for young people; it is flexible living or not living. Flex-working and flex-living are becoming the norm as a result of the Rental Market Flow Act. Everything Flex is the motto of this government.
As things stand now, almost all parties seem to agree with the law. Even the PVDA, despite the fact that this is in conflict with the
passed motion at party congress last year to maintain rent control. “They wipe their ass with this motion” states Anita Engbers, who previously sounded the alarm with the Tenants working group in the PVDA. The Rutte-Samson coalition is now also sacrificing tenancy rights. This will lead to an increase in the number of evictions.
Active Tenant Battle
The BPW calls on tenants to resist. “Movement fetishism among drivers makes tenants interchangeable and rents expensive. The real solution is to build. Temporary contracts are not a solution to scarcity. Rent protection was invented precisely to protect people in a market of scarcity and to prevent tenants from becoming exchangeable.”
Solidarity from below is our response to this government's plans. In the Kolenkitbuurt in Amsterdam, flexible and permanent tenants have been campaigning together since last month for the retention of social housing, the right to the city and housing rights for everyone.
Join the fight against housing insecurity!