RTL today – Northern Luxembourg: Systematic checks to improve living conditions in ‘maid rooms’
A small room above a cafe is a more affordable housing solution than an apartment or house in Luxembourg. However, there are still regulations that apply to these types of accommodation.
The debate on “furnished rooms” has been going on for many years in Luxembourg. Following several testimonies, an RTL team visited an old restaurant in Troisvierges offering this type of rental, without respecting the criteria, which have recently been strengthened. The north of the country is full of these rooms, a real need according to municipal and social officials, but housing must be in order.
Walls and a wooden floor, a hanging socket, damaged electric cables, but otherwise the general appearance of the room seems clean, as the RTL cameraman who went there was able to document. The bedrooms are relatively large, but one of them doesn’t even have a window. You don’t have to be an expert to realize that these “maid rooms” do not meet basic safety and hygiene requirements, which are set in a new 2019 regulation.
Edy Mertens, the mayor of Troisvierges, is aware that some rooms do not necessarily meet the conditions and wishes to act to provide quality accommodation in his town. A report is expected, after which city authorities will take action.
Systematic checks are “necessary”
An inventory will be carried out in 19 municipalities in the north of the country thanks to the close collaboration between the Resonord social center in Hosingen and that of the canton of Redange. Raoul Schaaf, president of the social office of the canton of Redange, is even considering creating a label if the situation improves, in order to encourage owners to ensure the well-being of their tenants. A brochure is also in preparation.
According to Schaaf, there are 50 known “maid rooms” rented by cafe owners in the canton of Redange, as well as 150 in nine communes of RÃ©sonord. Schaaf specifies that systematic checks are a lot of work, but they are necessary, for example with the help of the police or the Grand-Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps (CGDIS).
In many cases, landlords attempt to remedy the problems identified by these checks, failing which they may be forced to relocate their tenants, at their own expense, for three months. The 2019 regulations aim to empower them. Housing is one of the most important issues dealt with by Resonord teams, with no less than 500 cases in 2019.
The Vice President of Resonord explains that all rooms are usually occupied. Frank Dimmer points out that âwe need these rooms, otherwise a lot of people will end up on the streetsâ.
The idea behind the label and the vouchers is simply to offer modest but good quality and safe accommodation.