Drug evictions in the Netherlands

Due to time-consuming criminal proceedings and criminal law safeguards, the Dutch government has drawn upon administrative law to quickly deal with the negative impact of drug-related crime. Under Article 13b of the Dutch Anti-Drugs Act – formally known as the Opium Act – the mayor[1] has the power to close homes and other premises if narcotics are sold, delivered, supplied or present for one of these purposes in or near these homes or premises. On a yearly basis, the use of the administrative drug-related closure power in the Netherlands has resulted in the closure of hundreds of homes and other properties, and approximately hundreds of court decisions.

This intrusive measure often leads to lock down of companies, eviction of entire families, placement on a tenant blacklist, and even homelessness. Moreover, housing associations are entitled to cancel a lease without judicial intervention after a drug-related closure, and in case of an owner-occupied home banks may require that homeowners pay off their mortgage loan at once.

My research focuses on these drug-related evictions and the way mayors use their power to close properties due to drug-related crime.

[1] In the Netherlands, a mayor (in Dutch: burgemeester) is a non-elected administrative authority appointed by the national government. The mayor chairs both the executive board and legislative council of a municipality (local government) and is responsible for the safety and public order within his municipality.

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