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“A 15 per cent street quota won’t solve the problem”

“A 15 per cent street quota won’t solve the problem”

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes

Stricter rules for room rentals

MAASTRICHT. The reactions from neighbourhoods to the new rules for room rentals proposed by the Maastricht City Council this summer, vary. After a host of complaints, heated discussion evenings and a call for ‘balance’ – especially from the neighbourhoods of Belfort, Brusselsepoort, and Limmel – there are now measures, of which the street quota is the most remarkable.

The neighbourhoods wanted a street quota, something that the city council initially didn’t like. “The fact that we succeeded, is something we are very proud of,” says Mart Mooren from action committee ‘Buurtbalans Brusselsepoort’. A street quota means that the next application for splitting up a house will be tested against a maximum percentage of rented rooms per street. The percentage for the suburbs is 15, for neighbourhoods around the city centre, such as Brusselsepoort, 30 per cent applies. There is no maximum in the centre.
For Belfort, to the south-west of shopping centre Brusselsepoort, the measures won’t make much of a difference, says a resident who does not wish to be named. “A street quota of 15 per cent will not solve the problem, because that 15 per cent can still cause a lot of problems. You should look at the character and the composition of the neighbourhood and ask yourself: is it right to have so many students living there?”
Since the city council came up with a new policy for the transformation or splitting of houses in the summer of 2015, unrest grew in various neighbourhoods about the increase in the number of student buildings. There was no longer a curb on the issue of permits for room rentals. All illegal student buildings became legal in one fell swoop.
The street quota – which only applies to new situations – now complies with the wishes of many neighbourhoods. Another measure that the Mayor and Aldermen have proposed, is support for tenants of buildings with the introduction – most likely as of 1 January – of a quality certificate. In doing so, they meet with the wishes of residents in an attempt to combat nuisance and to increase the quality of life in the neighbourhood. Each building will require a central contact point. Brusselsepoort resident Mooren about the quality certificate: “We also want to be a party in this, at the moment it is a one-sided story.” He would like clear house and living rules, adequate insulation and proper maintenance of the buildings. “But the most important thing is that we can contact the landlord when there is trouble.” There was also criticism from Belfort. “I don’t think you can combat the nuisance with a quality certificate. The only thing that would help is to reverse last year’s measure that legalised the illegally split houses.”
The new regulations will be presented for approval by the city council this autumn.

Wendy Degens, Cleo Freriks, Maurice Timmermans



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