ROTTERDAM - The municipality of Rotterdam is buying 110 houses of the controversial slum farmer Cees Engel. One of the conditions set for the sale is that Engel may no longer own real estate in Rotterdam. The city council has yet to agree to the deal.

The buildings are often neglected and are used for illegal habitation, hemp plantations and drug trafficking. In addition to homes, the municipality also has two business premises, business space and a piece of land at the Keileweg from Engel.

“In one fell swoop we will deal with an important part of illegal occupation, hemp plantations and drug trade in Rotterdam. This is a great gain for the quality of the existing housing stock and for safety in the city ”

(Councilor Hamit Karakus,, 23-10-2007)

The municipality would have paid around ten million euros for the properties. That is more than five percent more than the appraised value of the real estate. That is, according to the municipality, avoid the need to pursue further lengthy and costly legal proceedings. The municipality and Engel have already faced each other several times in court.

Three years ago, the municipality of Rotterdam drew up a so-called "bastard list" that included slum landlords. Angel was at the top of the list.

The houses are provided by the Rotterdam Development Company (GIANT) sold to housing corporations. Some of the buildings are also designated as "DIY home". These are properties that are offered cheaply to people who want to renovate them considerably.

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Cees Engel

Angel cooks in 1980 his first building in Rotterdam. After his career as a teacher at the University of Utrecht, he switched to Van Nelle in Rotterdam.

The academic quickly realized that there was much more money to be made by renting out rooms. In the mid-1990s, he already owned more than six hundred buildings in Rotterdam. But because most of the buildings were in a terrible condition, he was quickly nicknamed "slum king".

The police regularly had to raid Engel's premises, because drugs were trafficked, because illegal immigrants lived there or because of other crimes. Engel was also previously sentenced to nine months in prison for practices that took place in his buildings. It also earned Angel the top spot in the "bastard list" that entered 2004 was put together by the municipality of Rotterdam.

“I chuckle a bit. This kind of phraseology as "the greatest slum landlord". I think the municipality is a much bigger slum lander. I don't know why they have to have me ”

(Cees Engel, TV Rijnmond, 2007)

Comment that he does not carry out maintenance on his premises and that rents are sky high, Engel referred earlier to the land of fables. "There is nothing to criticize about maintenance there", Engel informed RTV Rijnmond. "And high rents certainly not."

It is not clear what Engel is going to do, but that that future lies outside of Rotterdam is certain. Engel on TV Rijnmond: Whether the Age of Angel has come to an end? Has there ever been an age Angel?”

“I think the municipality is deeply sad that they no longer have a scapegoat. That the officials who were involved in this must fire. ”

(Cees Engel, TV Rijnmond, 2007)

Hoe ging het verder?

According to some sources, Engel was not given any 10 but spacious 13 million euros for the neglected buildings.

Six years later it turns out that all that money has run out. "Everyone thought I had a lot of money then. But there were also companies and people who owed money from me,"Engel said to RTV Rijnmond. "" And initially the tax authorities wanted five million euros, but after that it just got more and more. At one point I hung my head and that led to this bankruptcy. I don't know yet if I'm going to challenge the decision. ""

Dagvantoen published in October 2021 a podcast about Cees Engel

Engel moved to Belgium. He still owned a holiday park in Rijsbergen, the infamous Fort Oranje. Years later, Engel was again extensively in the news. Everything is wrong on the camping site as well, with appalling living conditions and high rents. Labor migrants and people who cause nuisance have nowhere else to go to live on the site. A lot of crime took place in the field

The municipality of Zundert decided to move into Fort Oranje 2017 to close. All 800 residents had to leave. In the meantime, Engel is still in conflict with the municipality of Zundert about the handling of the eviction and the expropriation of the location.

The son of Cees Engel, Jan, is also in real estate. Among other things, he managed a number of "windows’ in Germany. Son Willem Engel has a dance studio in Rotterdam-Oveschie and is a well-known Dutchman as the leader of Virus Madness / Viruswaarheid.


Trouw – 23-10-2007 – Rotterdam buys from controversial real estate dealer – 23-10-2007 – Rotterdam buys a real estate landlord

AD – 25-02-2017 – "Cees Engel? That man was completely crazy’

Rijnmond – 23-10-2007 – Rotterdam buys houses slum landlord Engel

Rijnmond – 21-08-2013 – Slum landlord: "Bankrupt by tax authorities’

Author: Dave Datema

published: 22-10-2020

story number: 162