Amsterdam to force landlords to cut price of expensive vacant rental apartments
Amsterdam wants to force landlords to lower rents to battle long-term vacancies. The proposal to oblige owners to get their homes occupied as soon as possible will be under public consultation from February 17, the city said in a press statement.
"We are in a housing crisis, and it is impossible to explain that houses are unnecessarily empty because, for example, the rents are too high or because owners wait too long with renovations," Housing alderman Jakob Wedemeijer said. "With this, we can force owners to rent out homes for a market-based rental price. If there is no demand for expensive rental properties, then the rent simply has to come down."
This new rule is possible thanks to the Crisis and Recovery Act. Amsterdam can use this law to oblige owners to make a house habitable within a certain period of time. The city can also force owners to apply for a temporary rental permit so that homes that will only be renovated or demolished over a long time can be occupied in the meantime.
If the measures are violated, the municipality can fine the owner. Before the Crisis and Recovery Act, property owners could only be fined for not reporting a vacancy.
Amsterdam is also implementing purchase protection for homes up to a value of 512,000 euros from April 1. People who buy a home in that price range will be obliged to live in it themselves for at least four years. The house can't be rented out in that period. This prevents investors from buying up affordable homes in the city and renting them out at high prices.