Recently, the Temporary Rent Reduction Act was introduced which makes it possible to temporarily reduce or freeze the rent of an independent dwelling. What does this new law entail exactly?
The law aims to increase the flow and affordability of housing. This law gives landlords more room to respond to individual situations of tenants and provide customization, for example if there is a loss of income. Both housing corporations and private landlords and property investors can make use of the law.
The rent reduction applies for a period of one month up to a maximum of three years. A tenant must make a written request to the landlord to reduce or possibly freeze the rent (not implementing the annual rent increase). The landlord must then decide on the request and make agreements with the tenant about the conditions.
When the temporary rent reduction expires, the landlord may increase the rent again to the original rent. Suspended rent increases may be added to this, so the rent may be brought back to the rent that would have applied if the annual rent increase had been implemented. The discount granted may not be re-invoiced.
If the discount has lasted longer than three years, it has become permanent. In that case the landlord may only charge the regular rent increase over the reduced rent.
The new law also makes rent habilitation possible for rental properties in the social sector. If a tenant wants to move to a house with a higher price, it can be agreed that the tenant will start with a lower rent and that this will be increased in steps to the actual rent over a maximum of three years. This way the tenant can get used to the higher amount.
The landlord is not obliged to give the discount. If the landlord does want to cooperate, he should keep a close eye on the three-year term and ensure that the discount is not too high. If the rent drops below the rent allowance limit because of the temporary discount, the rent may only be increased up to the rent allowance limit applicable at that time.
Should you have any questions or need advice, please feel free to contact one of our lawyers without obligation. We will be happy to assist you and keep you informed of further developments!