Pro-active tenant communication regarding payment problems
Thanks to the cooperation between the various Vesteda departments and our in-house property management, we can identify impending payment problems among our tenants at an early stage. This gives us the opportunity to contact tenants and offer them a payment plan or a more affordable home in the neighbourhood. In 2021, we made around 1,000 individual arrangements.
Home sharing for special target groups
The increases in house and rental prices relative to incomes is making housing unaffordable for many segments of the Dutch population. This includes special target groups, such as healthcare staff, teachers and other public sector workers. This group faces challenges in finding a home near their job, mainly in city centres. To increase the possibilities of finding an affordable living accommodation, we allow home sharing in specific buildings. This gives two friends or colleagues the opportunity to rent a home together.
Nibud calculation tool
In November 2021, we started a pilot in cooperation with the Nibud (National Institute for Family Finance Information), a well-known and respected independent foundation in the Netherlands that gives information and advice on the financial affairs of private households. During the registration process, we offer home seekers access to the Nibud calculation tool. This gives potential tenants the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their future financial situation. The Nibud’s underlying data represents different types of household, which makes the tool a reliable source of information. We consider this a first step towards a deeper collaboration with the Nibud to help make the cost of living more transparent and calculable for our (future) tenants.
Renovations and energy use
Affordability is not only affected by housing costs, but by a wider range of criteria that influences a household's quality of life. We believe that there is also a link with sustainability. This is why we invest in large-scale renovations in our portfolio. These renovations help to reduce energy consumption, which in turn leads to lower energy bills for our tenants. In addition to this, we continue to stimulate the sustainable use of our homes by our tenants. In 2021, we started a pilot project with the SlimWonen App, which helps tenants make smarter and more sustainable choices in their energy consumption.
Continuing cap on annual rent increase
As market rents continue to rise faster than renter incomes, in 2021 we once again capped the annual rent increase for our liberalised sector rental contracts to CPI plus 1%, in line with new government regulation.