Half of rental properties offered on a temporary basis, “position of tenants becoming increasingly uncertain”
Nearly half of all private rental properties in the Netherlands are offered with a temporary contract, which means tenants are more likely to end up on the street, and rent increases occur more frequently.
This was found in a study conducted by Investico, a platform for Investigative Journalism, in collaboration with various Dutch news organizations. According to the report, temporary tenancy agreements break the political promise to make fixed leases the norm.
For the study, a sample was taken from the offers available on the housing website Pararius, which hosts 65 percent of all private rental properties offered in the free sector. 47 percent of the sample were temporary leases, while 49 percent offered contracts for indefinite periods. For the remaining offers, the contract duration could be “negotiated.”
“This is in line with the trend that the position of tenants in the Netherlands is becoming increasingly uncertain,” says Carla Huisman, who conducted her Ph.D. on temporary rent. Permanent contracts are no longer the norm, she found. Soon, temporary contracts will be the rule of exception. “It’s a silent shift,” she says.
Former Housing Minister, Stef Blok, came up with the plan for flexible leases five years ago. The cabinet hoped that this would entice landlords to offer their properties, as it gave them the certainty that contracts would end. At the time, Blok made a promise to parliament that flexible leases would remain an exception.
The recent study has found this to be false. According to Investico, the law has not increased the number of rental properties but has instead limited the rights of many tenants. Private renters are also moving more often as a result, which has led to a steeper increase in rent.
Additionally, one-third of the contracts also stipulate a minimum rental period, which is against the law. Carla Huisman is not surprised by this. “Many tenants are not familiar with tenancy law. And the rules are also poorly enforced,” she adds.
The Ministry of the Interior has announced that the law will be evaluated next year. PvdA and GroenLinks argued last week for the abolition of temporary contracts.