There has been an enthusiastic response in Groningen to the launch of the website of the new Rent Support Center Groningen.
Councilor Roeland van der Schaaf is responsible for housing in the municipality of Groningen and is very pleased. ‘It’s great that we now have a support centre. There is now a central point in the municipality where all tenants and landlords can go for information, advice and mediation.’
Marinus Jongman, president of the Groningen Students’ Union, also sees the establishment as a milestone. ‘It’s good that Groningen has a professional support center for renting. We know from our own experience and from other cities that this works, especially now that we’re tackling this on a large scale.’
Jongman thinks that students will also benefit greatly from the support center. ‘Students in particular can use all the help they can get and deserve to live comfortably. The Rent Support Center is going to be very important for that.’
The Rent Support Center Groningen came about through an initiative proposal from Maarten van der Laan, a council member for the political party PvdA in the city council of Groningen. He also thinks that the support center can make a difference. ‘Together tenants are stronger. The support center can support tenants in disputes with landlords and can also collect the voice of tenants to provide participation in neighborhood renewal.’
All three see that tenants are in an unequal relationship with their landlords. There is a relationship of dependency and you do not easily enter into a conflict. Furthermore, tenants often lack knowledge of tenancy law, which means that excessive rents or other abuses are not always addressed.
The Rent Support Center Groningen has expertise in the field of tenancy law and can act as an independent and professional mediator between tenant and landlord. The intention is to solve problems in a good and honest way.