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Published on: 15 November 2023

Disagreement over sustainability within unions

Recently, Het Parool wrote an article with the topic “Making hundreds of thousands of Amsterdam homes more sustainable stalled by disagreements within unions“. Apparently, hundreds of thousands of Amsterdam homeowners are part of an association for owners (“vve”), within which disputes exist about at least sustainability, and possibly also about other issues on which the vve has to make a decision.

According to the article, owners of nearly 230,000 Amsterdam homes are part of Amsterdam’s more than 21,000 vve’s. We have not checked these figures, but there is no doubt that this is a huge number of consultation structures. In this article, the VvE Bond, an organisation of VvEs in Amsterdam, warns that VvEs often fail to agree with each other, resulting in a hefty amount of homes not being made sustainable.

VvE acceleration agenda on sustainability

In a letter dated 5 September 2023, the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations informed the House of Representatives that the sustainability of houses managed by unions is lagging behind compared to houses that are not part of an unions. With 20% of the total number of houses being part of a vve, according to Minister De Jonge, this is a problem for the desire of sustainability. That is why he already announced late last year that he would work on this and announced the VvE acceleration agenda for sustainability, which agenda he presented in the letter of 5 September, also on behalf of the Minister for Legal Protection in connection with the planned amendment of the Civil Code.

Simplifying decision-making for sustainability within vve

One of the key points of the acceleration agenda is to amend the law so that a majority of 50% + 1 of the votes will apply for all UMOs to take a decision for sustainability measures. Also, no so-called attendance requirement (‘quorum’) will then be required for that meeting. This while now such a quorum requirement is often used within unions, and an increased majority of 2/3 or 3/4 of the votes. The entry into force of the bill to this effect is not expected before 2026.

A change in the law is also proposed by the minister regarding the required consent of tenants before landlords can agree to sustainability measures of the association. When a landlord owns a minimum of 10 flats within a vve, 70% of the tenants are required to agree to the sustainability measures. The minister wants to amend this law so that from now on, not 70% of all tenants, but 70% of tenants responding to the proposal must agree. This aims to simplify decision-making for (large) landlords.

Get advice

Do you have questions about your vve situation? Or any other question related to tenancy law? Then contact one of our lawyers by mail, telephone or fill in the contact form for a free initial consultation. We will be happy to think along with you.

Articles by Koen Wanders

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