Conservative politician accused of exploiting Amsterdam housing shortage

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The VVD's integrity committee is launching an investigation into parliamentarian Wybren van Haga, who is accused of not following new rules on rental housing that Amsterdam implemented at the start of this year, a spokesperson for the party confirmed to NU.nl.

On Saturday Het Parool reported that Van Haga is violating Amsterdam's stricter rules on housing rental with several of his properties in the Dutch capital.

On January 1st of this year, Amsterdam implemented a ban on more than two people renting a single home on one contract. The city implemented this measure to battle problems caused by numerous people living at the same address, such as noise pollution. If multiple people rent at the same address, it is now considered room rentals. For that the homeowner needs to get a permit, and meet certain requirements. 

Van Haga owns more than 100 properties, mainly in Amsterdam and Haarlem. He told Het Parool that he estimates he has too many tenants in seven or eight of his Amsterdam properties. "I'm trying to solve that as well as possible", he said to the newspaper. "I had counted on a transitional situation." He also did not expect that the Amsterdam municipality would immediately inspect properties, until he received emails from other homeowners who were fined for violating the new rules. "It turned out that alderman Laurens Ivens [SP] held a kind of raid." He called the municipality's demands "unrealistic". 

Van Haga told Het Parool that in order to avoid problems, he has canceled contracts with tenants, resulting in several tenants reporting him to the hotline for unacceptable landlord behavior.

The VVD parliamentarian claims that he is complying to the new rules as well as possible. The integrity committee will investigate whether this is really the case. "Everyone must comply with the rules", faction leader Klaas Dijkhoff said to NU.nl. "Certainly a member of parliament who sets an example."

 

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