The Hague. Netherlands. The court case against the occupants of the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in The Hague took place on the 25th of May 2020. The owners of this building, RE:BORN real estate, had started an urgent court case in a sped up procedure to evict the occupants. They were also claiming an indemnity of 100.000 euro. We had taken the decision to not yield in front of their pressure, and to take on this court case.
Originally published by Short Stay? No Way!
RE:BORN’s story was out of its hinges throughout the court case. Although their file appeared impressive at the first glance, a closer look revealed it to be rather hollow. The blueprints, contracts with contractors and renting companies were for the most dating back to two years ago and had been signed back then (although signatures were missing here and there). The ‘plan’ was clearly already there, but was probably on the shelf for 2 years already. As RE:BORN said themselves in an article published by Den Haag Centraal: “we have had to put various projects in the freezer” (23-04-2019). With the documents they delivered, it became clear that there was no emergency in this case. There was also no indication of when the construction would start. There were just a couple of dates summed up, from the past two weeks, to try and prove in this way that the `squatters were frustrating the project´ and so to legitimate the indemnity of 100.000 euro.
Attention was also given to the building permit and the destruction notification. From our side the argument was that this permit had been given erroneously and that RE:BORN only had filed a destruction notification instead of filed for a destruction permit. The latter would however have been required seeing as the building they intend to work on is situated in the Zeeheldenkwartier, which is a protected cityscape.
In addition to this, RE:BORN was constantly contradicting itself. At first they argued that the defendants could not have had housing rights as they were registered elsewhere; they went on to argue that the building could not be insured because people were living in it (which seems a contradictory thing to claim when you’ve just spent time trying to prove no one was living there). They subsequently tried to argue – again – that no one was living there (because some neighbour had noticed no lights on in the evening, how surprising since the owners have made sure that we have no more electricity). Of course, none of the usual ant-squatter smears were missing: the squatters would be tapping electricity illegally, would have been conspiring to disrupt the court case, and that their lawyer is a leftist (how that had any relevance for the court case still remains a mystery to us).
During the last part, the owners tried to explain that the future apartments would be affordable. They also shortly said something about the fact that RE:BORN tried to be socially conscious; an argument stolen right out of the criticism we had been emitting towards them in the past few weeks . All in all, their story about these ’40 affordable flats and their contribution to The Hague’s housing supply’ was not very convincing.
The verdict is expected to come on the 5th of June, at 10.00. Keep an eye on shortstaynoway.nl and our twitter, @shortstaynoway, for the latest updates.
Short Stay? No Way!
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