Contact Point Abusive Landlordship
The Contact Point Abusive Landlordship (CPAL) has been brought to life on July 1st, 2016 by the Groningen Student Union in cooperation with the municipality of Groningen. At the first of January 2019, the new licensing system came into force in Groningen. This system means that landlords of student houses with rooms that have three or more residents and/or student apartment complexes with 3 or more housing units need a rental license. The concept of landlords entails private landlords and rental agencies. If a landlord or a rental agency breaks the rules, they can in the worst case lose their rental license. This law is designed to prevent malpractices, such as intimidation and threatening of tenants.
What does the licensing system mean for students? If a landlord or student housing agency violates the rights of the tenant, the tenant can report this at the “Meldpunt Ongewenst Verhuurdersgedrag” (MOV). In the licensing system, complaints that have been submitted after the introduction of the system on January the first, 2019, can be handled. Examples of undesired rental behavior are charging mediation costs, threatening tenants, intimidating tenants, not doing necessary maintenance, charging too much rent and discrimination. Our interview with the Municipality of Groningen showed that a three-stage system is being used: first, a warning can be given, then a penalty can be imposed and, finally, in the worst case, the rental license can be revoked. This means that if complaints are submitted about a landlord or rental agency, the rental permit is not necessarily withdrawn immediately, but is being discussed with the landlord after which the situation will be assessed.
Of course, only the Groningen Students’ Union, the municipality or the police (if necessary) will supervise all data. We will never publicise the dossiers without any permission. The concerned landlords will never be put in the know about the fact that you filed a complaint against him. However, it is important to acknowledge that we will aim at recording the problems, in order to develop a focused tackling of the issue.
Do you want any assistance in lowering your rent, reclaiming your deposit, solving defects, or reclaiming your mediation costs? The Rental Support Centre Groningen (a collaboration of the Groningen Students’ Union and the municipality) is eager to help you! For rental issues, you can find more information on the Rental Support Centre Groningen and how to contact them here.