Due to the finiancialization of the rental housing market, rents are linked to inflation. Every year, the government specifies the maximum rent increase. In 2022 it was 2.3% for the social rental sector and 3.3% for the free sector. Tenants with a family income of up to €75,000 can count on an income-related rent increase of up to €100 per month. However, tenants are not obliged to actually pay this, but many individual tenants do not know how to object to the increase collectively and effectively.
The “We Refuse the Rent Increase!” campaign seeks to change this. Because rent increases occur every year, their campaign is a yearly effort.
“We Refuse the Rent Increase!” informs people about their rights and the possible strategies to legally refuse their rent increase and provides a detailed step-by-step plan as a tool for tenants. In this way, tenants can take matters into their own hands and easily refuse rent increases. In webinars and local meetings, they mobilize people to actively participate in collective nationwide rent increase refusal.
Every year the campaign organizes a national action meeting and several local flyer actions. When a large group of tenants sign up from the same region, a local solidarity network is created in which tenants can share their concerns and problems and actively support each other. By acting together and sharing appropriate knowledge and previous experiences with each other, people are reassured. Thus, they build a sustainable solidarity network of rent increase refusers as well as systemic change. The step-by-step plan that has proven effective increases the pressure on landlords and politicians to actually freeze or lower rents.
5-year rent freeze
The political goal is a five-year freeze (2022- 2026) on rents without inflation correction. After more than 10 years of rent increases above inflation, housing should become affordable again and no one should fall into poverty due to excessive housing costs. Houses are for people, not for profit. The demand for rent freezes for the next five years has been presented by the campaign to Minister Hugo de Jonge, together with affected tenants.
Meanwhile, sustainable solidarity networks of and for tenants continue to emerge, with the intention of collectively refusing rent increases each year and also highlighting the option of going on a rent strike.
Are you a tenant and want to have a weapon of direct action in your own hands against the government and landlord? Join “We refuse the rent increase,” read more about their actions and follow the step-by-step plan to refuse your rent increase!
Het Actiefonds is proud to support this campaign because: first food, then rent!