Well-known landlord looking for nearly 700 euros for studio apartment smaller than most student bedrooms
Translated by Adriana Dancu
With the housing market in the city of Groningen becoming ever more pressurized, so the ‘creativity’ of landlords looking to squeeze every last penny from us also grows. There are more and more small rooms available for rent in the city, with a mini kitchen, a toilet, and a shower next to the cooking appliances. If a room has all these things, the landlord can officially class it as a ‘self-standing apartment’, and ask for more money, which the taxpayer usually pays, reports SIKKOM.
Take this studio on the Eeldersingel, for instance, which has now been made ‘inactive’. It is no larger than 12 square meters and, therefore, nothing more than a student room. But on Kamernet it is listed by ‘broker Niels’ as an independent living space; a studio with its own front door, shower, toilet and kitchen. Even though the room has all these things packed into it (you can choose between a wardrobe, or a sofa), it still remains a room of 12 square meters.
Shower, toilet and kitchen yield 400 euros extra per month (for the landlord)
According to the points system, the landlord may legally charge a maximum of roughly 204 euros per month, for that room. However, by stuffing the space with a sink, stove, toilet; shower and sink,(leaving only room for the bed) it suddenly becomes an independent house, for which much more can be charged by law. In this case, about 613 euros basic rent per month, which is almost three times as much. The question naturally remains: how does Dutch law allow a 12 square metre ‘independent home’?
So, by placing a small kitchen and bathroom in the already cramped room, the landlord is legally allowed to ask three times as much money. And the great thing is: because it is now an independent home, the tenant is also eligible for housing benefit. With a bit of luck, the tenant will barely notice the extra costs, because the taxpayer has to top up their rent.
Illegal costs on topAnd then there is something else remarkable in the text of broker ‘Niels’. Namely: “Upon acceptance of the accommodation, you pay a one-off rental fee of 245 euros to the owner of the home.” According to Niels, this money will be charged to the tenant for the following activities: producing photo material, determining surface area, determining rental price, drawing up the lease, placing the advertisement, organizing a hospiteer evening, etc.”
Just to be clear, property agents may not charge new tenants any fees: property agents are to be paid by landlords.
The problem is that it is not possible to find out who the broker is on Kamernet. Luckily, the inquisitive minds at Sikkom have done some research: whilst the exact address of a house is not stated on Kamernet, the street name is: Eeldersingel. In addition, the advertisement contains a load of photos of the tiny apartment, including a view of the buildings across the street. By combining all that data and Google Streetview, Sikkom have identified the building as Eeldersingel 11a. According to the Land Registry, that house is owned by Eildert van Wieren, a well-known landlord. To make things even better, Sikkom reveal that Van Wieren’s company, Noorderveste, employs the broker listed on the Kamernet page!
Issues with your landlord?
If you want to know your rights and obligations as a tenant, as well as good location for living in Groningen, read this article by The Northern Times-it answers all your questions.
The article source can be found here.