Will illegal subletting become a criminal offence in the Netherlands?

Hey, it’s the housing crisis knocking on your door again! But this time, we have news on how new regulations and legal actions could be passed for illegal subletting in the Netherlands. It is bleak, and everyone wants to get this under control (even the politicians!).

The Amsterdam Federation of Housing Associations (AFWC) has reported that there are 821 social rental housing units that have committed housing fraud of illegally subletting. The municipality of Amsterdam wants to take action against these illegal subletters by making it a criminal offence. This number is lower than in 2017, as they believe a lot of them operate ‘under the radar’.

According to one of the social housing corporations in the city, Stadgenoot, only 10-20% of the tenants are involved in this practice. However, the fact that there is an increasing number of shortage of affordable housing in Amsterdam, where people have to wait up to 14 years, is evidence enough that these people have to be prosecuted, hard. (according to Laurens Ivens, the housing alderman in Amsterdam).

It doesn’t ALL have to be doom and gloom! Check out our video on the amazing new buildings that are coming to Amsterdam!

Illegal subletting in Amsterdam

However, there have been cases where it wasn’t just an individual who was illegally subletting their home to a subletter. Although fraud happens largely in this manner, it is also committed by running illegal vacation rentals (for example, through Airbnb, Booking.com, etc.), hemp farms, and illegal brothels.

This is usually a symptom of the increasing pressure on the housing market. In addition to this illegal subletting, there is a huge shortage of houses being built. Recently, we reported that 10,500 new homes have been commissioned to be built for students, but is this really going to help relieve the pressure the market is under? Moreover, there has been a rise in the rental prices in the housing market outside of the social renting sector. It would definitely help but basically, all of us are kinda f*****.

De Nederlandsche Bank’s (DNB) president Klaas Knot wants to make renting a home from the free rental sector a lot more attractive, where the landlords will have a larger say in how expensive the monthly rent will be for the renters. He believes that the housing shortage can be solved to some extent if buying a home becomes less attractive (where more homes are taken off the renting market).

Do you think making it a criminal offence, and not just illegal, is the best way to combat this? People found to be committing this fraud are still fined. Making it a criminal offence would mean a more serious legal intervention will take place. What do you make of this? Let us know in the comments!

Feat Image: Lee Chandler from Pixabay 
GIF source: Giphy


















Kavana Desai
Kavana Desaihttps://medium.com/@kavanadesai
Coping with the aftermath of her 3-year stint in the Netherlands, Kavana is a writer, content creator and editor for DutchReview. Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature (she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism). In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon.


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