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Disagree with service charges: can a free sector tenant also go to the Rent Commission?

Legal framework

Article 7:260 of the Dutch Civil Code deals with determining the reasonableness of service charges and utility charges with an individual meter. This article is part of the rent protection provided by law.


For deregulated rents, the rent protection referred to in Articles 7:246 to 7:265 of the Civil Code largely does not apply. However, there are some exceptions where certain articles do remain applicable to deregulated rents. According to Article 7:247 BW, the following articles apply to liberalized rents:


- Article 7:248 paragraphs 3 and 4

- Article 7:249

- Article 7:251

- Article 7:259

- Article 7:261 paragraph 1

- Section 7:264

 

Section 7:260 of the Dutch Civil Code is not mentioned here, which means that this section does not apply to deregulated rents. This means that tenants of dwellings with liberalized rents (in the "free sector") cannot rely on Section 7:260 of the Dutch Civil Code to determine the reasonableness of service charges and utility costs with an individual meter.


In easy language

According to Article 7:260 of the Dutch Civil Code, both the tenant and the landlord can request the Rent Commission to rule on the reasonableness of the service charges if they cannot reach an agreement on them. However, this only applies to tenants in the social sector (below the liberalization threshold). For tenants in the free sector (above the liberalization threshold), the Rent Commission is not authorized to rule on the reasonableness of the service charges.


However, as a tenant in the free sector you can ask the Rent Commission for advice. However, this will be a non-binding advice in the case of tenants in the free sector. As a tenant in the free sector, however, you can go directly to the subdistrict court if you disagree with the amount of your service charges.

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