Friday, January 14, 2011

Sloterdijkstraat 4 wins bodemprocedure

The year starts with good news!
The court of Amsterdam ruled today in favour of the squatters in the court case (bodemprocedure) started in April last year by the owner of Sloterdijkstraat 4. The decision is especially important since long court procedures are hardly ever won by squatters. Furthermore it provides a precedent against eviction for emptiness, in the light of the new anti-squatting law.

The verdict states that the owner couldn't prove to have enough interest for the eviction and an eventual eviction would lead to emptiness. Without enough interest no one deserves a legal claim. (Zonder voldoende belang komt niemand een rechtsvordering toe). The owner, now 84 years old claimed he wants to use the house to continue with his hobbies: renovating in his own way and tempo, a metal workshop and as a refuge from his bad marriage. The reality is that he has been busy with renovating without hardly any visible results since he bought the house in the late 70s, while he's other claims don't prove a strong enough interest.

The house on Sloterdijkstraat has been squatted on 22nd of November 2008, after being not in lived for years. The owner has been using it for more than 15 years as a dump place and managed to pile up mountains of crap untill the ceiling: broken and rotten bikes, newspapers, furniture, building materials and whatever else comes into your mind. The owner is known from the past for not taking care of his properties, problems with his renters and having other properties squatted. With the help of lots of people (some of you probably reading this letter now) and investing energy, money and time we managed to make this house liveable and fire safe. Its now for more than two years our home. In June 2009 we won a short court procedure started by the owner. The judge ruled then that its impossible he had lived in the mass the house was and he couldn't prove he has realistic and urgent renovation plans.

In a city where houses are left empty while there's such a big need of housing and creative & social spaces, squatting stays a solution. The squatting ban doesn't solve the house situation and doesn't stop us from squatting and from fighting this more and more oppressive system.

the squatters of Sloterdijkstraat 4

Kraken gaat dooor!

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