Lucia - Erasmus University College

Unjustified contract costs can be refunded up to 5 years later

Mandatory housing and administration costs for EUC students

Erasmus University College is an internationally oriented honors bachelor's degree program of Erasmus University. Mandatory part of the Erasmus University College (EUC) is that all first-year students live in the same building during their first year of study. This property is located on the Stadhuisplein and is known as 'Lucia'. The owner and landlord of this building is the Austrian bank Raiffeisen. Raiffeisen employs a property manager (formerly Wolf Huisvestingsgroep, now the Austrian company Milestone) to handle all practical matters on-site, including signing contracts with new tenants and maintaining the property. As part of the rental contract, all tenants pay a one-off amount of 200 euros as 'administration costs' (being contract costs).

Judge says: unjustified administration costs

An EUC student of the 2018-2019 academic year has challenged the so-called administration costs with the help of Square Rent. We believed the administration costs are unreasonably high. In court, Raiffeisen has defended itself against the claim for reimbursement of these costs. The judge has examined all the services provided by Raiffeisen to see what amount is reasonable to charge the tenants. Conclusion: only an amount of € 7.72 was rightly charged for placing name plates for the new tenants. The remaining €192.28 related to services that either cannot be charged to tenants or which were not (yet) sufficiently substantiated – the judge ruled. The student has been reimbursed the amount of € 192.28 from Raiffeisen.

What does the judge's ruling mean for other tenants?

A judge's decision is only binding between the parties of the legal proceedings; in this case Raiffeisen and the student who initiated the legal process. Even if the situations seem identical, each case must be assessed separately by a judge, because a judge always has to consider all individual circumstances of the case. It is highly likely that Raiffeisen will put forward a stronger defense and support it with more evidence in future proceedings. Also, with more and more incoming claims from EUC-students, Raiffeisen will surely start to appeal judgements and fight up until the Supreme Court. Judgements from other (higher) courts may - and probably will - therefore differ considerably from the judgement so far.

Square Rent pays you the contract costs immediately

Instead of going through the long legal process to get the contract costs back, Square Rent offers to pay you directly. For this, you transfer your claim to Square Rent. This means that Square Rent becomes the 'owner' of the contract costs paid by you (or at least the claim to it), and independently does whatever it takes to get the claim paid by the landlord. This is easier for Square Rent because we do not have to keep our customers informed of all developments in the case and can act freely. This is attractive to the customer - you - because there is no risk of spiraling costs if the lawsuit drags on to higher courts. You also do not have to wait months or even years for the judge's decision, and it has no impact if the judge's decision is disappointing. Instead, Square Rent will pay you a fixed amount right now. The amount we will pay you is €90, which is about half of the amount we expect to get back on average (and way more than half after deduction of taxes).

If this sounds good, all you need to do is fill in the form below. With some digging in your mailbox and bank account you'll have this form completed in no time! This form is a draft agreement, which means that this form is a proposal to Square Rent to take over your claim against Raiffeisen. Square Rent will then process your proposal and - if everything is in order - we will pay you immediately!