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Service charges, but no service?

What are service charges?


According to article 7:237 paragraph 3 of the Dutch Civil Code, service charges are the costs of other items and services provided in connection with the occupation of the living space. This can include, for example, costs for cleaning communal areas, garden maintenance, but also movable items that are made available such as furniture or upholstery.


Paying but getting nothing


If you feel that the landlord is not providing services for which you are paying, you can raise this with the landlord. Should you not come to an agreement with the landlord, then according to article 7:260 of the Civil Code you can request the Rent Commission to rule on the reasonableness of the service costs. This request can cover a period of up to twelve months and can be made up to twenty-four months after the deadline for the landlord to provide the survey has expired.

 

Can I also go to the Rent Commission for my service charges if I rent in the free sector?


No, as a tenant in the free sector you cannot invoke article 7:260 of the Civil Code to ask the Rent Commission to rule on the reasonableness of the service charges. In that case, you would have to take your dispute about the service charges to the subdistrict court. Be sure to check your general terms and conditions. These may state, for example, that the landlord may only change the service charges after he has provided a service-charge overview. If the landlord has not provided that at the latest six months after the end of a calendar year (see article 7:259 paragraph 2 of the Dutch Civil Code), then according to article 7:261 paragraph 1 part b of the Dutch Civil Code he cannot increase the advance payment for the service costs.

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