Part of your rent goes towards service charges covering a number of different services we provide. Once every year, you receive a final statement from us listing the actual costs incurred. Do you want to know what you're actually paying for? We've listed it all below.
Wat are service charges?
We incur costs for general services like cleaning, or the electricity and gas needed for the shared spaces in our residential buildings. Each month, you pay an advance to cover these kinds of costs, in addition to your net rent amount.
Not included in your end-of-year statement: non-recoverable service charges
Some service charges come at a fixed price per month. This is the same amount for everyone, and it won't be settled at the end of the year. You are paying a monthly amount towards the glass fund, sewage fund, lights fund, internet access and maintenance of the communal areas.
Recoverable service charges that are included
However, most service charges are listed on the final statement. We've described these service charges below.
Final statement for service charges
Each month, you are required to pay an advance. The amount you pay is not final. Each year, before 1 July, you are sent a final statement for the year before, listing the actual costs for the services that were provided. Do the costs exceed the amount covered by your advances? Then you have to pay back the difference. And vice versa: if it turns out you paid too much, we will of course pay back the difference to you.
Planning to move, or already at a new address?
Then you only pay for the term of your tenancy agreement. We never make you pay for other people. Do, however, keep in mind that you'll receive the final statement at the same time as everybody else, which is before July. So you may have long moved out.
Calculation of new advance for service charges
Along with our calculation of the actual costs for the previous year, we estimate the costs for the coming year. If they are higher or lower than your current advance, your advance will be adjusted accordingly. If we've in fact made adjustments, it will say so on your final statement.
Which services are covered by these recoverable service charges?
Below, you can find a short explanation of the types of service charges you may come across. Which services apply in your situation depends on the type of accommodation you're in. You can find everything in your final statement. For the sake of clarity, we have included the Dutch terms as used in the statement.
- Cleaning (schoonmaak): in our larger residential buildings, we are responsible for cleaning the shared spaces such as staircases.
- Collective window cleaning charge (glasbewassing collectief): we clean the outside windows of your building (where you can't reach them) and the windows of shared spaces in the larger residential buildings.
- Gardening, landscaping and related maintenance (groenonderhoud): in case your building for instance has a public garden, we make sure it's properly maintained.
- Internet connections / radio / tv: for all living spaces we arrange the connection for internet, radio and TV.
- Municipal taxes (gemeentelijke belastingen), comprising waste collection and pollution levies. In most cases, we pay the municipality and charge our individual tenants accordingly. With independent accommodation, you may have to pay the municipality directly.
- Water and electricity for shared spaces (water en elektriciteit voor de algemene ruimte), which is quite self-explanatory. These costs are distributed evenly among all tenants in a given building.
- Administrative costs (administratiekosten): a standard 5% of the total amount in service charges goes to cover administrative costs, also charged separately for gas services.
Water and electricity, charged individually or collectively
These costs are directly related to your consumption of water and electricity. We calculate these two components in the same way.
Both components come in 2 varieties:
- Individual water/electricity charges (water/ elektra individueel): in case you have your own meters;
- Collective water/electricity charge (water/ elektra collectief): if you don't have your own meters, but share one within your houseshare. We will then distribute the costs evenly among all residents.
Both varieties, in turn, are made up of two separate components:
- Variable costs (variabele kosten): the unit rates for the actual consumption of water and electricity, either for you individually, or for the houseshare as a whole.
- Standing charge (vastrecht): the fixed costs for providing the connection, network maintenance, and the provision of the meter.
Individual gas consumption can be listed in the statement in the following three ways:
- Gas consumtion as measured through the meter provided: if your accommodation comes with a meter, which has been provided by Ista. Ista is responsible for maintenance of these meters, it measures your gas consumption and creates the annual statement – which you will later receive from us. Ista charges 1% administrative costs for these services.
- Individual gas consumption: in case you have your own boiler and the energy supplier measures your gas consumption.
- Collective gas consumption: in case you have a shared boiler and the energy supplier measures your collective gas consumption.
Individual and collective gas consumption costs are made up of three components:
- Variable costs (variabele kosten): either for your individual use or that of the houseshare as a whole. This is measured once annually.
- Standing charge (vastrecht): the fixed costs of providing the connection, network maintenance, and the provision of the meter.
- These costs are subject to administrative costs at 2%. With houseshares, we divide up the costs in accordance with the space occupied by each separate tenant.