City of Utrecht Results of the trial investigation into good landlords
Tenants in Utrecht are regularly experiencing malpractice. We want to identify and tackle these wrongdoings in the housing market and started a trial with 4 regional municipalities in 2019. We also investigated intimidation and threats of tenants by landlords. The results of the trial are now available.
The Huurteam is a legal service that offers free advice and assistance to tenants. From the beginning of 2019, this team visited 70 homes in Utrecht, Stichtse Vecht, Nieuwegein, Zeist and De Bilt.
- Malpractice occurred in almost all homes.
- 78% of these check-ups had a follow-up process.
- This resulted in 96 legal proceedings (multiple wrongdoings per address).
- This resulted in an annual rent reduction of more than € 102,277.
Read the report from the Huurteam Utrecht (in Dutch)
Investigation of intimidation and threats
In 2020/2021, together with the Huurteam Utrecht, we conducted an online survey among Utrecht tenants. A total of 229 tenants who had been intimidated or threatened participated. Of these, 46% were between 16-26 years, 44% between 27-44 years and 10% were 45+.
- It often starts after the tenant addresses the landlord, for example, about a problem in the house or unexpected visits.
- It often involves verbal abuse (71%). in some cases, landlords charge too much rent (66%), threaten to terminate the rental agreement (66%) or enter the home without permission (65%).
- Tenants who take action often choose to move, ask for help from the Huurteam or a lawyer or take other steps.
- This investigation and the experiences of the Huurteam show that intimidation and threats are most common in the Noordwest, West and Binnenstad neighbourhoods.
- Of the names of landlords submitted, 30% were unknown to the Huurteam.
The next step
The regional municipalities are positive about the trial and will continue the collaboration. There will also be a new bill on renting out homes. We expect this new law to give municipalities more options to tackle malpractice.