The Rochdale housing corporation is using a legal loophole to charge top rents for slums in the Jeruzalem neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Parool reports.
The houses in question have a floor area of only 32 square metres and lack both central heating and insulated glazing. Until two years ago these were rent-controlled houses for which a tenant would pay 300 euro a month. But the neighbourhood was designated a monument in 2010—the first neighbourhood built since World War II to receive that status in Amsterdam—and the law allows a corporation to add 50 points to the points system that determines whether a property is rent-controlled or not.
Rochdale now charges at least 712 euro for the houses on the free market. The corporation admitted to Parool that “the houses are indeed in a bad state,” and added that it needed to generate more income.
This is not the first time Rochdale made headlines. In 2009 it fired CEO Hubert Möllenkamp who had been living the life of an Italian renaissance prince, using the company credit card for private expenses, driving around Amsterdam in a company Maserati with blue license plates for taxis (meaning he could drive where other people aren’t allowed), accepting bribes and, according to Rochdale, improving his own pension plan.
(Illustration: Google Street View)