Moving on and trying get back your rental deposit? It is not always easy

Homeowners living in apartment blocks are legally obliged to join the VVE.

Private landlords are often difficult about returning deposits at the end of a rental contract, even though the property has not been damaged, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday, citing tenants organisations.

And the situation, the organisations say, has been made worse the rise of short-term and two-year temporary contracts.

‘There are landlords who see [the deposit] as an extra way to make money,’ Marcel Trip of tenant’s union Woonbond told the broadcaster. ‘We get a lot of complaints. Landlords try to find some reason why they should not repay the deposit and hope that tenants won’t take legal action.’

Gert Jan Bakker of the Woon foundation in Amsterdam, told NOS he comes across the situation hundreds of times a year. ‘It often involves a shocking amount of money,’ Bakker said.

‘In particular expats often have to pay two to three times the monthly rent as a deposit. And with an apartment in Amsterdam costing some €2,000 a month, you are talking about €4000 to €6000,’ he said. ‘But even if the tenant has moved on to Tokyo, we try and get the deposit back for them, with letters, bailiffs and court orders.’

Tenants should inspect the property together with the landlord at the start of the tenancy and establish the condition of the property with photographs, Bakker said. ‘But a new scratch on the floor does not mean the landlord can keep the deposit because that is considered normal wear and tear,’ he said.

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