ANN@The China Post August 17, 2017, 3:14 pm TWN
Responses in Amsterdam, where property prices have been rocketing due to a crippling housing shortage, have ranged from astonished indignation to wry resignation.
An estate agent has been caught offering for rent a 35 sq metre apartment, boasting its own "private kitchen", for €1,100 a month.
Just a couple of catches, however: cooking is strictly prohibited and no more than two people are allowed into the flat at any one time.
Amsterdam has been undergoing a property price boom in recent years, bringing costs back almost to the levels before the 2008 financial crisis. Prices in the Dutch city have risen nearly 22%.
In large part, this has been due to a housing shortage that is expected to peak next year when demand outstrips supply in the Netherlands by an estimated 200,000 dwellings.
However, the most recent example of the sky-high values being apportioned to relatively humble abodes has raised eyebrows, even in the current market.
"This studio apartment has a private bathroom and private kitchen," the advert on the website of the estate agent, Stone Capital, says of the property in the central Jordaan area. "The kitchen is fully equipped, except for a cooking plate. Cooking is explicitly not allowed in this apartment due to regulations."
The advert adds: "However, the apartment has a microwave. Water heater. Maximum two people at all times."
The Dutch broadcaster RTL, which discovered the ad, also reports that while it has been advertised as a two-room flat, one of those is the bathroom and the other is a joint bedroom/kitchen.
One person responding to the advert suggested: "Please also add – maximum weight of tenant 65kg when fully dressed."
A second wrote: "The lack of space and the huge increase in demand due to Airbnb has given landlords a irrational amount of power … now they can start asking for ridiculous conditions and still the apartment will be rented/sold."
One saw the funny side, however: "I can understand this. When our dear Lord with his culinary watering can spread the art of cooking on the face of the earth the Dutch were not the first in the queue."
Stone Capital did not respond to the Guardian's request for comment. A spokeswoman for the estate agent told RTL she was "unsure" what regulations prevented cooking in the flat, adding that the landlords were responsible for the wording of the adverts. The advert has since been pulled from the estate agent's site.
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