A demonstrator lights flares as they march in Brussels to protest against the coalition government’s plans to scrap the 8% rent surcharge levied on tenants who live in privately rented buildings. (ANNE POUJOULAT / AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Brussels to protest against the coalition government’s plans to scrap the 8% rent surcharge levied on tenants who live in privately rented buildings. As many as 100,000 tenants would lose out, and citizens and their lawmakers are demanding that the current law be protected, according to local media reports. French developer Liotard, which owns many buildings in Belgium, recently indicated that the bill would be replaced with an ordinance that offered rent concessions of up to 60 percent for tenants who are already subject to the 8% surcharge.
Earlier this month, a fiery demonstration against the implementation of the measures took place in Germany. Protests from tenants and tenants association associations are being staged across Germany, which could lead to disputes with landlords. Landlords have vowed to challenge the implementation of the measure in court, in order to protect their investments. The results of a recent investigation by a website specializing in tenant issues has also reportedly questioned the validity of many rental contracts in Germany.
Several landlords have recently been fined in the Netherlands for selling unregistered apartments. The offenses included operating without a proper tax file number, renting without registering, and failing to disclose hidden issues like unauthorized connections to the gas and electricity network.
Most of the cases dealt with were lodged against men or groups of men. It has been found that they were the sole owners of their properties. A KPMG study reveals that of 1,834 sub-divisions, 30 had simply two owners. This was not known and it could not be determined whether these properties were rented out on the internet or not. In some cases, it has been revealed that houses that were rented out illegally were not registered with the local authorities. The registration has been the responsibility of the local authorities.
Read the full story at HuffPost Europe.
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