Verhalen Thanks to the Renting Team, Christina found justice

Thanks to the Renting Team, Christina found justice

Over the past five years, Christina moved a total of four times, which is not unusual for many students in Utrecht. The demand for housing is high, while the supply is limited. When students do manage to find accommodation, there’s a good chance they’re dealing with an unscrupulous landlord. Christina (27) experienced this situation twice, and in both cases, she sought and found support from Huur Team Utrecht.

“After living in an anti-squat property and a former storage space for a while, a 15-square-meter student room became available for a monthly rent of 550 euros. Turning down such an offer is not really an option because finding a room in the first place is incredibly challenging,” Christina explains. “Once I moved in, I learned that the landlord had doubled the rent just before I moved in. The previous tenant had paid only 300 euros for the same room. It turned out that the property itself had various issues. We had a mouse problem, and the house had poor insulation. Cold drafts came through the single-glazed windows, and there were even times when we had no heating or hot water during the winter.”

Supported by her housemates, Christina sought help from Huur Team. “The court ruled that we were entitled to a rent reduction. Due to threats from the landlord and because we were temporarily left without hot water and heating again, I decided to move out after the ruling.”

For Christina and her then-boyfriend, things seemed to take a turn for the better. They were allocated a home in the beautiful Vogelenbuurt neighborhood in Utrecht. However, problems arose once again shortly after moving in. They experienced a shower leak, the house had single-glazed windows, and there were no ventilation options in the living room. They had to deal with mold on the walls and their furniture for six months.

What followed were numerous phone calls, emails, and messages in an attempt to get in touch with the landlord. “Ultimately, we sought help from the Huur Team because my asthmatic symptoms were getting worse. Following the Huur Team’s advice, we also filed a lawsuit against this landlord, resulting in another favorable ruling. We received a rent reduction and compensation for the mold.”

“This doesn’t mean that you immediately get all the money back from the landlord,” Christina emphasizes. “The first time, we had to involve a lawyer to recover the overpaid rent. Fortunately, I was eligible for legal assistance as a student. The second time, the landlord quickly repaid the owed amount. So, it can be well worth it to contact the Huur Team.”

Currently, Christina is once again searching for housing. “It’s a pity that buying a home is not an option for students,” she says. “There’s a lot of construction happening in Utrecht, but I don’t think the homes are really accessible for first-time buyers. That’s unfortunate because I would love to feel truly at home in a city where I want to stay. It saddens me that landlords treat people this way. They know the rental rules and understand how the housing market works, but they still disregard those rules. Of course, I’m very happy that I received a significant amount of money back thanks to the Huur Team’s help. However, the feeling of justice and fairness is much more important to me. I’m glad that there are organizations that assist in addressing rental issues. Without the Huur Team, I wouldn’t have known how to take action against such problems.”

Did you know that your landlord can only increase the rent once a year? There is also a maximum percentage increase determined annually.

Learn more about rent prices.

Are you paying too much rent? Perform the point check, get in touch with the Huur Team, and receive a refund for your overpaid rent!

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