Amsterdam to fine vacant buildings


Amsterdam homeowners who leave their homes empty for more than six months without a valid reason, may soon face a hefty fine. The municipality hopes to tackle the stalled housing market in the capital by fining vacancy and, if push comes to shove, self putting residents in vacant homes, the Telegraaf reports. 

From now on homes can not be vacant for more than six months, unless there is a special reason such as renovation or settlement of an inheritance. If homeowners exceed that period, they could face a fine of 2,500 euros. If it is a commercial property, the fine can be up t 5 thousand euros. In extreme cases, the municipality will find a tenant for the vacant building.

"Room in Amsterdam is scarce and should therefore by fully exploited", housing alderman Laurens Ivens said. "Amsterdam is strict on all kinds of housing fraud. With these new rules we vacant housing can now also be addressed. In this way all houses in the city are used as they are intended, to live in."

This plan still has to be approved by the city council. If the council adopts it in November, it will be implemented on December 1st.