Central and Eastern Europe, International Journalism and PR

Discrimination on the housing market in the Netherlands


Real estate agents and intermediaries often cooperate with the request to exclude certain groups from a rental property. This is evident from the first national research into discrimination in the housing market. Also with mystery calls, home seekers with a foreign-sounding name are more often rejected for a rented house than those with a Dutch name. These are the findings of the national research conducted by Art.1 / RADAR on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

Less chance of being invited if your name sounds Polish and Moroccan

The researchers of Art.1 / RADAR have investigated the first steps of the rental process, such as mediation, viewing and selection. Fictional home seekers responded to advertisements. The profiles of the home seekers are almost identical: only the name differs. Some of them sounded Dutch, Polish or Moroccan. The aim was to be invited for a viewing. A total of 3,000 times, these research profiles were used to respond to homes offered throughout the Netherlands.

The results show that prospective tenants with a Polish or Moroccan-sounding male name are less likely to be invited for a viewing than persons with a Dutch-sounding name. A woman with a Moroccan sounding name is also less often invited.

In addition, 105 mystery calls were carried out. A fictitious landlord requested brokers during these calls not to rent their home to immigrants. More than a third of estate agents agree to the request to exclude certain tenants. Most of them go along with the request in one way or another or make the landlord responsible for it. Only 15 brokers (14 percent) indicate that they do not want to cooperate with such a request. In 9% of the interviews, the broker indicated that he selected on the basis of other criteria that could exclude people indirectly (strict selection).

 Minister Ollongren of Interior Affairs

For Minister Ollongren, the research results are reason to further intensify the approach to discrimination in the housing market.

Minister Ollongren: “This research shows that discrimination in the housing market occurs throughout the country. It is not only a problem for the big cities. I find that very alarming. Discrimination is not allowed and will not be tolerated. This applies to both the rental brokers and the landlord who offers his home to the public. That is why we will intensify our approach against discrimination in the near future. ”

Intensify the approach

The Dutch Ministry of Interior Affair stresses that the approach against discrimination in the housing market will remain fully necessary in the coming years. This starts with more awareness and good information provision. In addition, municipalities will receive new legal instruments and enforcement options. For example, in the future they can apply uniform rules nationally and, under certain conditions, set up a permit for landlords. Combating discrimination is an important part of its elaboration. Results from the ongoing pilots in Utrecht and Rotterdam form input for the approach. Rules for rental brokers are also being considered, so that the entire chain is involved. Finally, the research is carried out again with mystery calls and practical tests, in order to keep an eye on the problem and because it ensures more awareness in the industry.

Source: Gelijke kansen op een huurwoning in Nederland? – Monitor discriminatie bij woningverhuur

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Image: Photo Mix via Pixabay