Student wins 200 euro court case against landlord

Is a landlord allowed to charge a one-off booking fee of 200 euros, a student in Rotterdam wondered. He took legal action and won.

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In 2018, Erasmus University College student Joris Pijpers went to live in the Rotterdam complex Lucia. Monthly rent: 718 euros for 18 square metres. But he was also asked to pay an extra amount up front, Erasmus Magazine reports.

Those 200 euros were charged to cover items such as a viewing, an introductory meeting, help in applying for rent benefit, advertisements to “tell students in advance about the accommodation”, printing costs and a portal for uploading the contract documents.

The court made short shrift of it. The landlord was only allowed to charge for a key fob and for putting a name plate on the letterbox, a cost of less than eight euros.

He will now get the rest back with statutory interest: the total amount has risen to 232 euros. It was not about the money, he told Algemeen Dagblad, but about the principle.

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