Approximately 650 tenants in two Amsterdam buildings operated by Change = have filed individual complaints about service fees.
The Woon Foundation, a council-funded tenant rights organization, has announced that it has so far launched 640 separate proceedings with Huurcommissie, a rent court, in a lengthy debate over costs.
Cases include the building developers and managers Change = and owners, tenants who wish to clarify their claims from the Luxembourg-based PECPersimmon SARL and ISFII Amsterdam Coöperatief UA.
Their buildings in Amsterdam Zaidoost and New West provide what Change = calls the hired youth a “networked life”. Approximately 1,100 “low cost” studios with facilities such as a gym and high speed internet will be charged as an additional fee.
Change = CEO Ralph Mamadeus told the court last month that he had dismissed allegations that he had developed a building for his strong social vision and threatened tenants. He failed to claim that his privacy was compromised by a news article by Woon.
However, tenants continue to express concern about unclear billing practices, as reported by the Dutch consumer rights programs Boos and Kassa, Parool and AT5.
“The battle between tenants and landlords has entered a new phase,” Woon said in a news update, claiming that Change = refused to engage in a single procedure that applies to all tenants.
In the past, Change = imposed a “community” fee in addition to the normal rent and service fees paid to building owners.
Last year, a court in Amsterdam ruled that it was not possible to charge a “community service” fee in addition to the normal fee for 250 tenants who took legal action and ordered a refund. As the verdict required, these fees were not refunded and it is understood that the case was appealed.
However, community costs have stopped and service charges for all tenants have since tripled. It is understood that new tenants of the building are required to pay a monthly rent and service fee of € 930.
The Netherlands has rules regarding rent that can be charged for “social” housing and service costs. This cannot be expanded without the consent of 70% of tenants. This increase has sparked strong criticism and questions in the Amsterdam City Council.
Dutch News solicited comments from lawyers representing Change =, Change =, and PECPersimmon SARL. Attempts to contact the ISFIIAmsterdam Coöperatief UA have failed.
Tenants who live in Change = buildings in 2019 and 2020 and also want to clarify service costs must sign up for the procedure by June 30th.
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