Temporary rental contracts
Under the instruction of Urban Interest, Van 't Hof Rijnland only concludes temporary leases for two years. These contracts of Urban Interest may not be extended. People with this type of temporary contract can be evicted from their home through unilateral termination without reason (art. 7:271 paragraph 1 under b second sentence of the Dutch Civil Code in conjunction with art. 7:228 paragraph 1 of the Dutch Civil Code). If tenants get a permanent contract, it is more difficult to get rid of them, for example if they want to sell or demolish the property. Permanent tenants can only be evicted under certain conditions and by a judge, and are then entitled to replacement accommodation and reimbursement of moving and furnishing costs. To circumvent these social rights, Urban Interest only concludes contracts that can be terminated at short notice and without reason, so that they are not tied to tenants with tenancy rights.
Three months to leave
The residents are meanwhile evicted without mercy. Some tenants, such as Bond Precaire Woonvorm member Bo Salomons, have to leave the building in December. In September, he was told that his contract would not be renewed.
“I have no idea how I'm going to find a new home in three months, in this market. How can I make demands at all in such a hurry? Soon I'll end up in a house again where I have to leave within two years, every time. You can't build a life like that, can you?"Bo Salomons
Van 't Hof Rijnland has offered residents that they may exchange apartments with neighbors, but that they may not continue to live in their own apartment in order to build up tenancy rights. This mainly shows that Van 't Hof Rijnland and Urban Interest is only concerned with breaking down tenancy rights by making tenants mobile through a possibility created by the Act on the Transition of the Rental Market. They then have all the advantages of permanent tenants (they receive 1000 or 1250 euros per month), and all the advantages of temporary tenants because the residents can beg every year for a new contract and hardly dare to complain, says Bo.
Meanwhile, Van 't Hof Rijnland is letting the flat deteriorate by not carrying out maintenance. The Leidsch Dagblad has already published twice written about the conditions in the flat, which alarmed the rental inspectorate and the fire service during a recent inspection.
Multiple attempts to talk to the manager and owner have had no effect. Urban Interest says it will stick to their 'real estate strategy' and will not renew contracts. That strategy means continuing to evict people so that if they want to sell the property or demolish it in 10 years or so, they don't have to take rent protection into account, says Bo.
Living is not musical chairs
Rent protection exists for a reason. It protects the right to have a home without suddenly having to pack your bags. With the current house prices, the enormous waiting lists and a shortage of affordable housing, this protection is all the more important. Urban Interest cannot just evict its tenants from their homes. The fact that permanent tenants already live in the building shows that it is possible. The tenants of the Stationsflat, with permanent and temporary contracts, stand in solidarity and refuse to accept the undermining of the right of residence by Urban Interest. Homes for people, not for profit!
The Bond Precaire Woonvorm Leiden demands from Urban Interest:
Laat de bewoners van de Stationsflat in hun eigen woning zitten en biedt de bewoners een vast huurcontract!
and from politics:
Abolish the rental market flow law, offer housing security for everyone and prevent homelessness.
Indien Urban Interest en Van ’t Hof Rijnland niet zo snel mogelijk akkoord gaan met deze eis, zullen acties van huurders volgen. Huurders zijn niet inwisselbaar! Neem voor meer informatie contact op met bewoner Bo per telefoon (06-48203862) of BPW Leiden by mail. Wilt u met uw organisatie onze actie steunen? Neem dan vooral contact op via de bovenstaande gegevens.