A tenant who paid almost €2,000 a month for a room in a two-bedroom flat on Amsterdam’s city centre Keizersgracht has had his rent reduced to €95 after taking his case to the rent tribunal.
The tenant, who moved into his 20 m2 room in September, questioned the €1,950 rent and went to the Huurcommissie for advice.
The tribunal ruled there were several problems with the rental contract. For a start it was an all-in price, and service costs are supposed to be listed separately. In addition, the tenant had not rented a self-contained unit, but part of a shared property, the tribunal ruled.
So, by checking the number of points the room was worth, the tribunal agreed that the rent should be cut to €476.84. Shared apartments always fall under the point-based system.
More than that, the tribunal said that the property also had a number of shortcomings. It was draughty, the shared toilet leaked and the door to his room could not be locked. And so, because the landlord could not show he was taking action, the tribunal reduced the rent to 20% of the maximum rental price, or just €95.37 a month.
The tenant will pay the low rent until the landlord takes steps to improve the condition of the property.
However, the tenant only has a temporary contract and experience shows that landlords are not too keen to extend the contract of people who have gone to a rent tribunal, Bakker said. “Nevertheless, I would still urge everyone who rents a room and thinks they are paying too much to knock on our door. We can always help.”
Another tenant, who rented a smaller room on the same floor of the property house for €1,200, also turned to the Huurcommissie which cut their rent by to €93.48, according to the Parool.
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