Saturday 13 August 2022

Tenants could be hit with large bills for extra gas and electricity costs

Photo: depositphotos

Tenants paying inclusive rents could be hit with extra bills for service costs in the coming months as energy prices rise.

The rental regulator Huurcommissie said landlords were legally entitled to claim back any excess costs above the amount included in the monthly rent package.

‘The costs of energy are going through the roof and because they are often hidden in the service costs, we expect many tenants to be presented with large bills when the annual balance is calculated before July 1,’ Asje van Dijk told AD.nl.

Tenants who suspect they have been overcharged can take their case to the Huurcommissie, she said. ‘In these cases we split the rental amount into the basic rent and the various service costs. Sometimes that’s for a cleaner for communal areas, but it can also be for essential services.

‘Landlords are entitled to reclaim energy costs from their tenants if the monthly payment is insufficient. We say to tenants: try to obtain evidence from the landlord of the extra costs.’

Van Dijk added that the Huurcommissie had spent two years clearing its backlog of more than 9,000 cases so that it can investigate all complaints within the legally required time limit of four months. ‘

‘Now that the backlog has been dealt with we can confidently tell people to contact us if they think something isn’t right,’ she said. ‘That also applies to landlords who have problems with their tenants.’

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