Dive into the story of Pieter, the Groningen landlord who received nearly half a million euros in excess service charges annually!

From now on, we will give you a weekly glimpse into the fascinating world of private rentals, the place where Bumarang fights for fair rental prices. Today, we take you to the north, to the city of Groningen, where we will explore the story of Pieter, an extraordinary landlord.

Substantial inheritance

Pieter, a man from Groningen, began his career as a landlord after receiving a substantial inheritance. This unexpected financial boost gave him the means to invest in real estate, and he seized the opportunity with both hands. Within a few years, he became the proud owner of over 100 rental properties. Most of these properties were located in Groningen, ranging from modest upstairs apartments to impressive complexes where dozens of tenants found their homes.

Achterstallig onderhoud

Despite profiting significantly from his real estate portfolio, Pieter encountered some issues. The properties he rented out suffered from deferred maintenance, and the rental prices were high, particularly due to the service charges.

Service charges are the costs that tenants pay in addition to the base rent for services and amenities provided by the landlord, such as gas, water, electricity, internet, and even furnishings. The law requires landlords to provide an annual overview of these costs to their tenants. However, Pieter did not comply with this rule.

Tenant rights

It was at this point that Bumarang intervened. We informed Pieter’s tenants about their rights and initiated a procedure with the Rent Tribunal. The outcome was shocking. Pieter consistently overcharged for the service costs.

To give you an idea of the scale of the problem: the average tenant of Pieter was paying around €125 per month in service charges. However, the Rent Tribunal determined that this amount should have been only €50. That means Pieter was asking for €75 too much per tenant per month! Assuming Pieter had an average of five tenants in each of his 105 properties, he was receiving an excessive amount of €39,375 per month. That is an astronomical sum of €472,500 per year!

Rent Tribunal’s ruling

After the Rent Tribunal’s ruling, Pieter reimbursed the excessively charged service costs and sold a large portion of his real estate.

This story highlights the importance of knowing your rights as a tenant. At Bumarang, we want to help you discover whether you are paying a fair price for your home. Use our rent calculator and find out. We are here to assist you in obtaining a fair rental price.

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