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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Different city, same old story. This time it’s Rotterdam.

In the Telegraph, Ruby Hinchliffe writes,

The city that declared all-out war on landlords – and what happened next

The Dutch have launched wide-ranging crackdowns on the buy-to-let sector, but renters are paying the price

“Landlords have no friends in politics anymore,” Tjeerd Sijtema, one of Rotterdam’s 15,000 civil servants, tells me.

Last year, city officials made Dutch history when they became the Netherlands’ first lawmakers to introduce a ban on landlords buying properties to let.

Red-rimmed signs warding off landlords were erected in 16 of Rotterdam’s 71 neighbourhoods – where around a third of its housing stock resides.

Smug-looking faces shaped like houses stare down at residents who cycle past it in quick succession. Above read the loaded words: “We are working on a healthy housing market here.”

“Working on”, as in “destroying”:

But one glaring consequence of the ban is the downward pressure it is having on rental housing supply, which props up those who cannot immediately afford to buy a house – typically younger residents, migrants and fresh divorcees.

The ban also pushed up rents for tenants in regulated neighbourhoods by around 4pc last year, damaging housing affordability for renters which the Erasmus School of Economics said “undermin[ed] some of the intentions of the law.”

Even students are feeling the negative impacts. In a quaint coffee shop at the heart of leafy Kralingen-Oost, a popular area amongst undergraduates, one student told me it’s much harder to live in larger groups now. “I’m only living with one other person this year,” she told me.

And, naturally,

Meanwhile the waiting list for social housing in Rotterdam – which makes up a staggering 55pc of the city’s overall housing supply – is now five years’ long.

10 comments to Different city, same old story. This time it’s Rotterdam.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    People respond to market incentives. Apparently, this fact is a shocker to much of the current crop of politicians in the West.

  • JohnK

    There’s no fixing stupid.

    The fact that rent controls and other anti-landlord actions only ever mean that rents rise and people have a harder time finding a home is now so well established that it cannot be denied.

    It must follow that the communists and leftists (and the British Conservative Party) who impose these policies know what will inevitably happen, but they do it anyway. One must therefore conclude that their ideology is more important to them than having a functioning housing sector. And one would be right.

  • jgh

    “undermined some of the intentions of the law”

    What the hell was the intention of the law? A law intentionally restricting the availablity of rental property can only have the intention of retricting the availability of rental property. Why on earth did they think that retricting the availability of rental property was a good thing?

  • llamas

    Apparently, the city fathers of Rotterdam consider that the German carpet-bombing of the city centre in 1940 didn’t go quite far enough towards meeting their goals.



  • Paul Marks

    This is more than the denial of the basic laws of economics – bad though that is. Yes modern officials and politicians (and “experts” – even some so called “economists”) deny the basic fact that supply and demand, not government edicts, should determine prices (including rents and who owns property) and wages – wages themselves being prices, the price of various forms of work. But this denial is not the only factor.

    The international agenda is for most people in the future to neither be the tenants of private landlords or owner occupiers – the agenda is for people to be the tenants of government and “partner” corporate bodies.

  • Paul Marks

    To push everyone, including people who are presently owner-occupiers, into various forms of “Social Housing” (mostly flats – apartments) of the government or “partner” bodies (including certain corporations), is the agenda – not just in the Netherlands, but everywhere.

    Will this have good consequences? No – the consequences will be awful, but the international establishment do not care about the consequences for ordinary people.

    The international establishment care about power – and only power. Total and absolute power.

  • Fraser Orr

    What the hell was the intention of the law?

    The intention of the law was to maintain and grow the power of government and get politicians re-elected. This is the purpose of all government action.

    @Johnathan Pearce
    People respond to market incentives. Apparently, this fact is a shocker to much of the current crop of politicians in the West.

    No it isn’t a shocker. It is just politicians live in a different economy, namely the economy of votes. They respond to the incentives of getting more votes. And sticking it to the man, the big bad landlords, gets a lot of votes, because there are many more renters who are voters than landlords. Will it negatively impact renters? Yes, eventually, far enough in the future to disconnect it from this law. And, when it does, they can blame it on the big bad landlords price gouging because of the shortage of rental properties. It is a classic government play — benefiting from the problems they themselves created.

    @llamas — perfect comment. You win the internet today.

  • Kirk

    The people that do this are eternal children, wanting someone else to take care of them and pick up their bill.

    Most of them would be horrified at the costs of owning their own apartment building or home. But, since they don’t have a single clue about that, they posit the “evil landlord” making big money off of them, which they resent.

    Many landlords are small-time, and don’t operate on very big margins. For a lot of them, a few vacancies, a few non-paying renters, and they’re done–Especially if they’ve been caught in the interest rate ratchet.

    All I can say is, it was nice knowing Rotterdam. Letting the freeloaders freeload is how you get housing shortages. And, a lot of poor elderly people who have been stripped of a lifetime’s worth of investment in their homes and rental properties. Stupid is as stupid does, and these people are incredibly… Stupid.

  • Paul Marks

    Frasor Orr – no, the purpose of many government actions is nothing to do with getting politicians re elected. Indeed in many Western countries elected politicians have little power over what government does.

    Kirk – no, the people behind this are not children, there are experienced and highly intelligent. They are also deeply evil.

    There is an international agenda at work and has been for many years now.

    In housing the agenda is for most people to be tenants of the state and/or of partner corporate entities (including charitable bodies – joined at the hip with government bureaucracy) in “Smart Cities”.

    This is not hidden – the documents are public. And those who do not see the international agenda are putting their hands in front of their eyes, in the hope that the bad people will go away.

    The bad people will not go away – and the international agenda continues, in all its different aspects.

  • Kirk

    @Paul Marks,

    Yes, they’re children. They expect that things will remain the same, once they’ve implemented their little idealistic plans.

    But, just like the dumbasses at the WEF (who are supporters of this crap…), they’ve failed to factor in a bunch of things about human nature.

    One, you take away private property, you’re doing a bunch of things that are not obvious to the sort of idiot that comes up with this stupidity. First, there’s behavior: Tragedy of the commons, and all that. You take away ownership, you take away a lot of concern about maintenance and upkeep. A tenant doesn’t care about much besides whether or not it all works; they don’t do preventive maintenance, they don’t do cleaning, and they demand that everything be fixed by the landlord, now. So, that’s gonna cost them, bigly. Second thing they’ve failed to factor in is the second- and third-order cultural effects. They imagine that by making “nice housing” a basic right, that then the people living in that “nice housing” are going to behave just like the middle-class types of today who occupy such “nice housing”. What they’re missing is that “nice housing” isn’t a causative factor in “middle class”, it’s a symptom of having been properly acculturated to being a productive, decent citizen. By knocking out the blocks under property ownership, they’ve simultaneously taken away motive and a huge swathe of environmental conditioning to be such a thing as “decent middle class”.

    If you’re guaranteed nice, middle-class housing, why ever would you give up being a teenage wastrel? What’s to gain? Why bother? Why not continue to party and trash all those nice properties now owned by other people?

    It won’t work out the way they simplistically think it will. Not at all…