Six international students are suing real estate company Xior for charging exceedingly high rent on its apartment building on the Eendrachtskade. Room prices range from 500 to 1,190 euros, not including additional fees for a number of services.
One of the litigators is Sizheng, a media studies pre-master student from China. According to him, the rent Xior charges is higher than the Dutch legal maximum for social housing. This rent limit is regulated by a point system which looks at factors such as the size of a house and is adjusted annually.
In addition to the base rent, Xior charges extra for service and energy costs, internet and television and laundry. These come to 142,50 a month. Furnishing costs a minimum of 50 euros a month, depending on the type of accommodation.
But even without those costs, Sizheng says, the students are being overcharged. ‘I’m charged approximately a hundred euros too much for the base rent of my 25-square-metre studio and the 50-square-metre apartment is about 250 euros too expensive.’
The Eendrachtskade building opened in July 2021 and Sizheng moved there in October. He and five other tenants – four of whom are also Chinese, while another is from France – are working with Robin Hood, a local company run by law students and recent graduates specialising in rental disputes.
For Sizheng, the lawsuit isn’t just about lowering his rent. He’s also angry about what he feels is the poor state of the accommodation. ‘The ceilings are bare and there’s noticeable noise coming from the pipes in the studio apartment’, he says. ‘If their service was better and not so arrogant, I probably wouldn’t have gone this far.’
The students expect a ruling in about three to four months’ time.