Almost 9.000 renters face problems meeting monthly rental payments
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, almost 9.000 tenants renting houses, apartments and business premises from corporations reported that they have faced problems with paying their rent.
Business owners, temporary workers and freelancers
The Dutch newspaper NRC reported these figures from a survey of 197 different corporations in the Netherlands. The corporations surveyed own 1,6 million of the 2,4 million rental homes in the Netherlands.
"The longer the measures against the coronavirus continue to apply, the larger the problem group becomes," one corporation said to the newspaper. The corporations feel that this problem could continue indefinitely. "We hope that the financial problems for these tenants are temporary because this is terrible for them," says board member Hester van Buren.
The majority of those facing rent payment problems are business owners, temporary workers and freelancers. "Most of the tenants who reported problems work with temporary or flex contracts or are self-employed," says Egbert de Vries, director of the Amsterdam Federation of Housing Associations. "We hardly see any problems with other groups of tenants."
Relatively speaking, the group of tenants that have financial problems is still small - just 0.5 percent of the roughly 1.6 million tenants of these 197 corporations. According to the corporations, the reason for this figure is that many renters of corporation housing have a steady income from benefits such as social welfare or pension.
There are also people who have not reported their financial difficulties in the survey: “We also take into account that there is a group of people who have their heads in the sand. They have not yet reported to us”, said Van Buren.
Rent problems could get even worse for many tenants
The housing corporations foresee that the problems in paying rent could get worse as time goes on, because many people were surviving on their savings at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and reserves are now running out: "Most tenants still had a salary for March, were able to get through April with their buffer, but for May the question is whether that will still work."