Vulnerable tenants disadvantaged by "efficient" working method of Rent Commitee
The Rent Committee has been inviting increasingly fewer tenants and landlords for the settlement of disputes. Mainly, vulnerable tenants are disadvantaged by the trend, workers from within the committee warned, according to the journalistic platform Investico.
The Rent Committee is responsible for housing complaints, such as moldy walls, contract breaches and rent prices. Due to staff shortages and lack of funding, in around only half of all cases were both parties summoned to their hearing.
The number of commissioners has sunk from 100 to 40 in the past ten years. In the same period, the budget fell from 23 million euros to 14 million euros and 15 hearing locations were closed. To save time and costs, the housing commission, in many cases, made a decision based solely on the paper report without having both parties present.
The reports do not paint the picture well enough to make an accurate judgment, committee members said. "Nine out of ten times a research report is wrong," an anonymous member of the rent committee said.
The waiting time for tenants to receive compensation can run up to two years.
"It is the weakest parties that are victims of this. You can object in writing, but many people don't have the means to do so," the anonymous housing commissioner said.
"You see that the quality of rulings has deteriorated enormously. Quality is now second to quantity," Denise Zonnebeld from Frently, a company that supports tenants, said.
The Housing Commission said in reaction to Investico that the quality of investigations has not gone down due to staff shortages