Finance

After The Hague and Amsterdam, Utrecht also wants to introduce ‘purchase protection’

Renting is only allowed under strict conditions. The new rule is an attempt by the municipality to ban investors and give first-time buyers a chance in the tight housing market.

Many cities are taking advantage of the national implementation of the Purchase Protection Act. After Amsterdam and The Hague, Utrecht is one of the cities that applies the measure to the entire city. Other cities, such as Rotterdam, designate certain neighborhoods where purchase protection applies.

‘This law will make a difference’

Alderman Kees Diepenveen of Utrecht is hopeful that this law will improve the situation for house seekers. People who want to live in an owner-occupied home themselves now have to compete with investors, he says. “That leads to more scarcity and rising house prices. We are therefore using all means to relieve this pressure. The introduction of this law will certainly make a difference.”

The law has been in force since 1 January of this year and gives municipalities the option to introduce a purchase protection. Only existing owner-occupied homes are covered by the law.

If a house falls under purchase protection, an owner may not rent out his or her house for four years, except to immediate family members such as parents, brothers, sisters and (grand) children. Due to the WOZ value of 440,000 euros, about 60 percent of the housing stock in Utrecht falls under the law.

The Utrecht city council still has to approve the proposal. Once that has been arranged, the purchase protection will apply from mid-March.

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