MP's want law to fight discrimination by landlords, intermediaries
D66 and DENK want to oblige landlords and intermediaries to develop a plan to prevent discrimination in the housing market. And if they fail to live up to that plan, the municipalities where they operate can fine them or revoke their permits. The two parties will present this proposed amendment to the Good Landlordship Act during a parliamentary debate on the bill on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.
A majority in parliament already pledged support for the amendment.
Discrimination in the housing market is a significant problem in the Netherlands, research by the Verwey-Jonker Institute showed. Many private landlords ask intermediaries not to rent their homes to “foreigners.” And through mystery calls, the institute found that 35 percent of intermediaries are willing to cooperate with this practice. People with a Moroccan-sounding surname have the most difficulty finding a rental property in the private sector.
That is “shameful,” according to D66 parliamentarian Faissal Boulakjar. “It is unacceptable and terrible that people have to fight extra hard to get a home based on their last name. That needs to be addressed.”
DENK MP Stephan van Baarle agrees wholeheartedly. “If someone says I have a house, but I don’t want to rent it out to Turk of Moroccan, real estate agents will cooperate. That is terrible, and we want to put an end to it.”
The parties want landlords and intermediaries to draw up a protocol that prevents discrimination and ensures a fair course of events during viewings and distribution of rental properties. If they are still caught discriminating, municipalities should revoke their permits. They also want municipalities to set up hotlines where home seekers or tenants can report dubious practices by landlords or intermediaries.