Amsterdam looks to help shopkeepers fend off sharp rent increases

Amsterdam coalition parties D66, VVD and SP plan to help shopkeepers in the city center in their fight against high rent increases. They want the municipality to investigate how these small business owners can be assisted legally. They are also planning a campaign to inform these business owners about their tenant's rights and legal options when their property manager increases their rent, Het Parool reports.

Property owners in Amsterdam Centrum can charge high rents due to the high demand for retail buildings in the area. And shops that cater to and benefit from the high number of tourists in the city can afford to pay these rents. The municipal council wants to prevent the city streets turning into only tourist attractions, and would therefore like to be able to choose which shops are welcome and not welcome. According to the newspaper, research showed that this is legally feasible.

"We must prevent small businesses from being powerless against large real estate parties", D66 faction leader Reinier van Dantzig said to the newspaper. 

Opposition party GroenLinks wants to add to that that shop owners automatically get support if they file a complaint against rent increases. The party also wants the municipality to buy buildings to prevent retailers being expelled by too high rents.