Flex tenants in a tight spot: 'I have to look for a job in another city'

Temporary leases have been the norm in Anglo-Saxon countries for years, and the Dutch housing market is rapidly developing in the same way. Researcher Carla Huisman of the University of Groningen has warned against this, who did research into this. According to her, it leads to stress and great uncertainty among tenants. Who are they?

Building nothing for eight years

Lilian Seip (29) has moved fifteen times in eight years. Now the biologist lives in a youth house of the housing corporation. She can live here for a maximum of five years. "This house is not only temporary, but also small. It bothers me in my life," says Seip.

Seip is looking for a social rental home, and is also eligible for this with her temporary and part-time employment contract. Because that has not been successful so far, she is postponing future plans. She had to place her pets elsewhere. "I haven't been able to build solidity for eight years," said Seip. "I even feel compelled to look for a job in another city now."

The problems have been going on for years. "I once lived in a room for a little over a year when I was offered an anti-squat contract. Shortly after I had to get out." According to Seip, that happened with an excuse to circumvent rent protection. "He said the apartment would be renovated, but after a month it had a new tenant. Games like that are being played."

“We are now looking abroad and hope to get better there. In a year and a half we will be kicked out or we will get a new contract and the rent will be thrown up ", says Nick van Balken (22) from The Hague. Together with his girlfriend he searched for months for a house. A week before they had their previous temporary they found their current apartment with a two-year contract.

They couldn't find another house, so Nick van Balken and his girlfriend chose an apartment with a temporary lease. "Then you know: accept the contract or they will find someone else."

Nick van Balken, flex tenant 

The couple is not satisfied with the temporary contract, but Van Balken and his girlfriend have not asked any questions and have immediately withdrawn. "I felt that we had no choice," says Van Balken.

He does not see a bright future. "We are fed up, the housing market in the Netherlands. We have the prospect that we will be knocked out, and then come back to the same situation. I want to avoid that situation. We are now looking abroad and hope to get better there."

Register or draw

Anita Holt (44), lives with her children aged 10 and 8 in a temporary home in Ravenstein. She is looking for a permanent social rental home in this area.

A temporary home was not ideal, but he was welcome. Because without this house, Holt would have had to live with her ex-husband even longer. "We lived together for at least six months after the divorce, when I got the opportunity to live in someone's house for sale for a year."

With a few months to go, Holt is now looking for a permanent home nearby. "But it is almost impossible to do. It is registration or drawing lots and in my municipality there are many other house hunters."

There is an offer, she says, but these are mainly temporary homes. "That is not moving forward: I am looking for a permanent place. Moving home is always uneasy, especially with two small children. That stability is the number one priority, and for that we need to sit somewhere for a longer period of time."