Wassenaar. Netherlands. On Monday Dec 20, Rechtbank Den Haag ruled we must leave Ivicke within six weeks.
Originally published by Huize Ivicke.
We aren’t surprised by this verdict in the owner’s favor, and we won’t just accept it quietly.
The court’s argumentation is that our residency here is in violation of the building’s zoning plan, which designates its use as an office. The judge said he “understands the currently difficult housing market” —does he, really!?—and yet decides to evict for emptiness.
Eviction for emptiness, yes: because there are no concrete plans for Ivicke’s future use. No permits, no costings, no drawings, only Ronnie van de Putte’s word that he wants to use it as an office for his company’s only employee.
This is enough for the judge to claim “ there are no grounds for concluding that the national monument will once again be vacant once the occupants have left.”
Anyone who takes a moment to look at Ronnie’s track record of speculation would see there is every reason to conclude Ivicke will once again be empty if we are evicted. Emptiness has been his business model for decades.
Gemeente Wassenaar knows this all too well. They’ve just spent 1 million euros restoring Ivicke’s exterior because of vacancy and neglect, yet throughout these works they’ve continued to pursue our eviction for yet more vacancy.
Speculation, in its many forms, is at the root of the housing crisis. This home is technically an office… That home will bring in more profit if rented to expats instead… This home will stay empty for years… That home will be knocked down… Where homes are treated as commodities, housing is precarious.
Mr. Rechter, this is why the housing market is “currently difficult.”
The housing crisis that has brought people in the Netherlands to the streets in numbers is only a “crisis” for those with modest means. The other side of the coin, for speculants, is a “healthy property market” promising favorable returns.
We do not accept becoming homeless for emptiness. We do not accept that the owner’s business model of speculation weighs heavier than housing needs, than our interest in continuing to live in our home of 3 and a half years.
We expect no better from the courts. They exist to protect the property-owning class.
But we play their rigged game for now and appeal this decision.