Tackling Rogue Landlords and Substandard Housing: Local Authorities’ Legal Instruments and their Effectiveness

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 2-19.

University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2/2019

24 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2019 Last revised: 28 Apr 2019

See all articles by Michel Vols

Michel Vols

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law

Alexandre Belloir

University of Groningen - Campus Fryslân

Date Written: February 18, 2019

Abstract

Purpose – In 2011, Dutch municipalities requested supplementary legal enforcement instruments to tackle rogue landlords and substandard housing. The national government implemented new legislation granting municipalities’ local authorities more legal instruments in 2015. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the application and effectiveness of these instruments.

Design/methodology/approach – Using both quantitative and qualitative (legal) empirical research methods, this study establishes the frequency these instruments are employed and the manner they are applied in practice to determine their role in limiting abusive practices of rogue landlords.

Findings – By comparing legislation and policies with their enforcement, we pinpoint differences between the law in the books and the law in practice, and argue that the legal instruments have a stronger effect on the informal power than on formal power of local authorities. Moreover, the paper shows that the shift of responsibility from the Public Prosecutions Office to local authorities has left the Public Prosecutions Office disinterested, feeling that it no longer has to deal with substandard housing violations at all, therefore leaving the repeat offenders free to continue their activities with minor consequences.

Originality/value – The paper presents original data on the ways governments address substandard housing and rogue landlords. This is the first study that analyses the fight against substandard housing in the Dutch context. Whilst centred on legislation and procedures in the Netherland the paper’s findings are relevant in other jurisdictions facing similar issues.

Keywords: rogue landlords, substandard housing, legislation, enforcement instruments, Netherlands

Suggested Citation

Vols, Michel and Belloir, Alexandre, Tackling Rogue Landlords and Substandard Housing: Local Authorities’ Legal Instruments and their Effectiveness (February 18, 2019). Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 2-19., University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2/2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3354628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3354628

Michel Vols (Contact Author)

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV
Netherlands

Alexandre Belloir

University of Groningen - Campus Fryslân ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV
Netherlands

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