A Utrecht city initiative to support tenants who have problems with their landlords helped 715 people last year.
Most complaints were about the level of rent, but tenants also asked for help with dealing with poor maintenance, wrongful service charges and all-in contracts.
The Huurteam Utrecht said in its annual report that its members had been able to get tenants a combined rent reduction of over €600,000 last year. On average rents were cut by €172 per month, but in one case the landlord was ordered to slash payments by €1,053.
“These figures send a clear signal to landlords that they must stick to the law,” Utrecht housing chief told local news website DUIC.
The team visited 715 flats and houses and found problems at 646. In over half the cases, the complaint centred on a single room with shared facilities.
Amsterdam tenants’ rights group Woon said in April it had received 11,000 complaints and questions last year, with poor maintenance, high rents and service costs accounting for the bulk of the problems.
In addition, at least 100 international residents approached Woon with problems about deposits that were only partially refunded when they left a property, or were not refunded at all.
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