Service charges are costs that come on top of the bare rent of a residential property. These costs are for things like gas, water, electricity, internet and television. They may also include costs for a cleaner, the use of furniture, garden maintenance and garbage collection.
A landlord may only charge for the actual costs incurred. In order to account for the costs, the landlord is obliged to provide statements substantiating the cost structure no later than six months after the end of the financial year.
The service costs that a tenant pays per month are an advance payment. What the tenant eventually overpaid, the tenant should get back later. This applies to all leases, including those in the free sector.
As a tenant, it is possible to demand a statement of expenses. If a landlord refuses to provide one, a tenant can approach Rent Support Center Groningen for mediation.
If a tenant does not trust the service costs, it is possible to request a test of reasonableness from the Rent Tribunal. The Rent Support Center Groningen can assist the tenant with this.