According to the judgement, the ‘booking fee’ was supposedly a payment for help applying for rent allowance, signing service agreements, making certified keys with key fob, facilitating a ‘keybuddy’, a visit, informing the tenants and placing a name plate on the mailbox. The magistrate only felt it was reasonable for the landlord to charge for placing a name plate on the mailbox, the name plate itself and the key fob. The total justified costs amount to a paltry 7.72 euros instead of the requested 200 euros.
EUC student Joris Pijpers was ‘delighted that he could live in the centre for that price’, but soon wondered whether the 200 euros charged were correct when he came to live in the Lucia complex in 2018. The 200 euros form a one-off payment on top of the monthly rent of 718 euros for an 18m2 room. Pijpers explains: “When you google contract costs, for example, you soon find that they often have no basis. The judge agreed.”
Pijpers will now receive the difference of 192.28 from the landlord. Add the statutory interest rate that accumulated during the case, and Pijpers is now entitled to 232.28 euros and even makes a profit.
Pijpers had expected to win the case. Legal consultants Square Rent assisted Pijpers in the case and discovered that only three of the fourteen cost items which the Viennese firm Raifeissen and landlord charges its tenants are legally defensible. As first years at the EUC are obliged to live in Lucia, Square Rent says that the university also has responsibility in this issue.
Square Rent wants to see the university taking its responsibility and launching an investigation. The university previously told the AD that it will study how it can tackle the wrongdoing and what this means for other EUC students.