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The cost of living

The cost of living

Of course having your own place costs money. We’ve listed which expenses you will - in any case - need to take into account on top of your regular rent.

We’ll also explain how you can best organise your rent payments. And what’s the deal with housing allowance? Read on for details.

In most cases the rent you pay for your Stadswonen Rotterdam unit is made up of basic rent plus a surcharge for service charges.


Basic rent

The basic rent (called kale huur or netto huur in Dutch) is the price you are charged for occupying the unit itself, without any additional costs such as service charges.


Service charges

The service charges are additional charges for a variety of services and facilities such as heating, electricity and the cleaning of communal areas in your buildings.

Visit mijn Stadswonen for an overview of the service charges that apply in the case of your unit. Some service charges are reserved for a long-term budget, while others are advances. These advances are settled at the end of the financial year with the actual costs of the facilities and services in question. If actual costs are lower than the advances you have paid, the difference will be returned to you. And if actual costs exceed the total paid in advances, you will be required to make up the difference.

At Stadswonen Rotterdam, tenants don’t have to pay a deposit for their rental unit. When you sign your tenancy agreement, you are required to pay the first month’s rent plus the costs of the tenancy agreement itself:

  • EUR 25 for a unit with a basic rent lower than EUR 710.80*
  • EUR 30 for a unit with a basic rent lower than EUR 710.80* for which Stadswonen Rotterdam arranges a nameplate. Whether this applies varies from building to building.
  • EUR 100 for a unit with a basic rent over EUR 710.80*

*Rent as of 1 January 2016.

When you sign a tenancy agreement for a parking spot, you are required to pay a EUR 115 deposit for the smartcard or transponder and a charge of EUR 25 for the tenancy agreement itself.

Most rooms operated by Stadswonen Rotterdam have been ‘allocated’ a housing allowance (huurtoeslag) by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. If the Tax and Customs Administration requires you to prove this, you can apply to Stadswonen Rotterdam for a copy of this allocation by sending an e-mail to info@stadswonenRotterdam.nl. Whether you personally qualify for housing allowance depends on the basic rent amount, your age and your financial situation. To become eligible for a housing allowance, you furthermore need to be registered with the Municipality.

You can apply for housing allowance at the Tax and Customs Administration.


Housing allowance for studios and flats

Whether you personally qualify for housing allowance depends on the basic rent amount, your age and your financial situation. To check whether you are eligible and possibly apply for a housing allowance, visit the website of the Tax and Customs Administration.


Applying for a housing allowance

You can apply for housing allowance from the Tax and Customs Administration. To complete this application, you will need to fill in various details about your housing costs. The most up-to-date survey of your personal housing costs can be found at mijn Stadswonen. The following components in your service charges are relevant to your application: lighting and electricity in your building’s communal areas, cleaning of the communal areas and resident contributions for management costs.

Your rent for the past month needs to be transferred to our account before the first day of the upcoming month. Our standard arrangement for rent payments is direct debit (automatische incasso). The rent is automatically transferred from your account via a pre-authorised payment, meaning that you don’t have to worry about making your payments on time.
To find an up-to-date overview of your past payments and outstanding rent, visit mijn Stadswonen.

If you are not paying via direct debit (automatische incasso) and would like to, fill in the direct debit authorisation form today.


Paying your rent from a different account

Would you like your rent to be transferred from a different account than the one you are using at present? No problem. Simply get in touch with Stadswonen Rotterdam and we will send you a form you can use. Once you’ve returned the completed and signed form to us, we’ll take care of the rest.


Acceptgiro

Our standard arrangement for rent payments is via a pre-authorised payment(automatische incasso). A big advantage of this system is that you don’t have to worry about making your payments on time. However, it is also possible to pay your rent using a so-called acceptgiro. An acceptgiro is a one-time transfer authorisation slip with a pre-printed 16-digit payment reference. The extra costs of paying via acceptgiro are EUR 2.50 per month.

To pay via acceptgiro, complete and sign the slip and send it to your bank. To find an up-to-date overview of your past payments and outstanding bills, visit mijn Stadswonen. If you have received an acceptgiro, you can also use the details printed on the slip to pay via an authorised transaction (eenmalige machtiging), iDEAL (a Dutch online payment system) or credit card.


Rent arrears

Did you fail to pay your rent before the first day of the following month? Then we’ll send you a reminder and charge you a EUR 10 administrative fee. To prevent this, we recommend paying your rent by direct debit.


Collector

Are you more than two months behind in your rent? Then Stadswonen Rotterdam will engage a debt collector to collect the arrears. Prevent this situation by getting in touch with Stadswonen Rotterdam early on so that we can arrange a repayment plan.


Repayment plan

Due to circumstances, a situation may develop where you are temporarily unable to pay your rent. In such cases Stadswonen Rotterdam is prepared to consult with you and draw up a repayment plan for your arrears. Be sure to apply for such an arrangement in time. Please submit your request in writing (via e-mail or letter).

Each year the Dutch government establishes the maximum percentage by which landlords are allowed to increase the rent of a given unit. This rent increase becomes effective as of 1 July. Every year, Stadswonen Rotterdam will send you an e-mail in advance that contains a proposal listing your old rent and your new rent as of 1 July.


Objecting against a rent increase

Do you disagree with the amount by which your rent has been increased? In that case you are entitled to appeal the increase. To lodge your appeal, always use the form Notice of Objection against Rent Increase (Bezwaarschrift Huurverhoging). After completing and signing the form, send it to:

Stadswonen Rotterdam
Rent Increase Appeals [enter year]
PO Box 4057
3006 AB ROTTERDAM
The Netherlands

Make sure we have received your notice of objection before 1 July of the year for which you are lodging your appeal!

You will receive a written response to your appeal from Stadswonen Rotterdam within three weeks. Stadswonen will compare the details of your appeal to what is stipulated in current legislation and regulations. If your objection is validated, Stadswonen will adjust the rent increase and notify you of this adjustment in writing. If your appeal is denied, you have the option of either withdrawing your objection or continuing the appeal procedure.

Do you wish to maintain your objection? In that case Stadswonen Rotterdam will ask the independent governmental Huurcommissie (Rent Tribunal) to adjudicate. Does the Huurcommissie rule that your appeal is legitimate (i.e. does the Huurcommissie agree with your objection)? Then Stadswonen Rotterdam will be required to adjust its proposed rent increase. Did the Huurcommissie disallow your appeal (i.e. does the Huurcommissie agree with Stadswonen Rotterdam)? Then the proposed rent increase will become effective as of 1 July of the current year.

Please note: if the Huurcommissie disallows your appeal, you will be required to pay this tribunal legal dues to the amount of EUR 25. Further information on the procedure can be found on the Huurcommissie’s Dutch-language website.

Have you decided not to lodge an official objection against the rent increase? Then the proposed increase will be adopted as of 1 July of the current year.


Objecting against a rent increase on the basis of maintenance arrears

It is no longer possible to appeal the annual rent increase on the basis of maintenance arrears. Any maintenance issues that need to be resolved can be reported to our Maintenance and Repairs Department. To contact them, send request repairs via mijn Stadswonen or the ‘reparatieapp’.

Would you nevertheless like to appeal the rent increase on the above grounds? Then you will need to follow a different procedure. For further information, contact the Huurcommissie Secretariat on 0800 488 72 43 (Netherlands only) or via www.huurcommissie.nl.

As a tenant, you are required to pay:

  • Water board taxes;
  • Municipal levies, such as the local waste charge.

If you are renting a room from Stadswonen Rotterdam, these charges and levies are settled via your standard service charges. If you are renting a studio or flat, these charges will be posted to you directly by the Municipality and other agencies like the local Water Board. Further information on municipal levies can be found here.

Stadswonen Rotterdam has taken out building insurance for all its residential properties, which also covers damages to any inventory belonging to the individual units. To complement this general coverage, we recommend that you – at any rate – take out the following insurance:

  • Contents insurance (inboedelverzekering in Dutch)
    Be sure to take out adequate contents insurance that also covers the damages of a possible break-in. People tend to have more valuable possessions than they assume.
  • Third-party liability insurance (aansprakelijkheidsverzekering)
  • Glass insurance (glasverzekering)

Anastasiia

During Eurekaweek, I won a year’s free rent!