Corona blog (26-03-2020): housing / residential

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The Dutch government’s measures regarding housing are beginning to take shape. Logically, these measures are aimed primarily at helping tenants retain their housing for as long as they can.

Two measures were announced this morning:

  1. Minister Van Veldhoven (Environment and Housing) has reached an agreement with tenants’ organisations and housing sector associations (Aedes, IVBN, Kences and Vastgoed Belang) that no one is to be evicted from their home during the corona crisis. Should such evictions occur, including cases where the landlord seeking to evict a tenant is not affiliated with an association, there is a chance that this agreement will be more strictly enforced and formalised as a matter of law. Evictions due to criminal activities and extreme nuisance will constitute an exception.
  2. An Emergency Act to extend temporary rental contracts is currently in progress. The tenants’ association Woonbond and the Dutch Students’ Union LSVB support this initiative. The Act is intended to prevent residents who find themselves temporarily without income from becoming homeless.

The measures can be found at: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/regering/bewindspersonen/stientje-van-veldhoven/nieuws/2020/03/26/geen-huisuitzettingen-en-verlenging-tijdelijke-huurcontracten;

These measures naturally raise certain questions as well. One of these questions is whether landlords will still be able to evict tenants whose payment problems are not associated with the coronavirus. And if so, how? After all, the courts are temporarily closed (or are encountering extreme delays): does this mean that only previously-issued orders for eviction may be carried out? And what about landlords who encounter financial difficulties because their tenants have payment problems due to the coronavirus: are these individuals being protected (in some other fashion), or will they be protected in the future?

We expect that these measures, too, will be clarified in the coming days or weeks. Patience is in order: after all, the new measures did not enter into effect until 7:00 this morning.

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