Landlord ordered to pay back unspecified ‘membership fees’ to tenant

Community has become a buzzword in housing for young adults. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Community costs for unspecified services in apartment complexes targeting young adults have again been questioned by judges in Amsterdam.

This time landlord The Don, which runs the Don Bosco complex on the city’s Osdorpplein, has been ordered to pay one tenant back €1,080 in membership fees, the Parool reported.

The building’s tenants are required to pay service costs of €95 and membership costs of €30 on top of their rent of €895 per month. But one tenant went to go to court after deciding to no longer pay the membership fee for himself and partner after The Don declined to specify what the charge was supposed to cover.

The Don claimed in court that the membership fee was for use of the communal areas and facilities, wifi and security camera maintenance as well ashouse management which facilitated the community concept’, the Parool said.

The only itemised cost was €5.99 for minor maintenance on the property.’

The court ruled that the tenant could not be charged for most of the items on the list, such as general maintenance, but did agree with the minor maintenance fee. It ordered The Don to refund the rest of the charges made over the past two years.

The Don is not the only landlord taken to court for charging tenants community or membership fees. Around 650 tenants of two Amsterdam buildings run by Change= have also gone to court in protest at service charges which they say are too high and unclear.

By law, landlords are not allowed to make a profit on the service charges that tenants pay and have to provide an itemised breakdown of the costs on request.

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