On December 12, a group of former Sugar Homes residents gathered in front of the Groningspanden building in Groningen to demand the return of the €750 security deposit from the property management company.
The group urged the managers of Groningspanden to leave the building and listen to their demands and, according to their estimates, they intended to hand over a symbolic €187,500 bill to the property management company. .
The demonstrators were supported in their actions by Bond Precaire Woonvormen (BPW), a national union that advocates for the rights of tenants in precarious (temporary, very expensive and precarious) living conditions. .
Behind the gate, property management director Marcel van der Reich told protesters that Groenings Panden had not withheld their security deposit.
Van Der Lyke invited a BPW member and a former resident to his office. The group refused, saying they were protesting for “everyone’s money,” and added, “People have different questions about Fronnings Panden, so why split us up?” said.
“Outside, we are united”
The group then handed van der Reyk a symbolic bill and began asking questions about the matter, but the manager did not answer. Van der Reyk also did not answer questions from local journalists who attended the protest. He eventually returned to the building and lowered the blinds.
Protesters continued to argue their position over loudspeakers, demanding that Fronnings Panden return the money withheld within a week.
Thiresia Antoniadou, a student from Greece, lived at Sugar Homes for a year. “She came here with her brother, who is also a student, but her family is still waiting for the return of 1,500 euros,” she said. Outside, we are united. we have more power. When we enter the building, the manager can end the conversation and let us out whenever he wants, but this is unfair,” Antonia Dou added.
According to their contract, the outstanding amount had to be returned by September 25th, eight weeks after the rental contract ended. “If nothing happens within a week, we are ready to take this case to court,” said BPW member Robin van den Berg.
It is unknown if the previous tenant will get the security deposit back. STHO, with the support of the city of Groningen in this decision, is withholding a security deposit to cover sharply increased energy costs.
Mr Van der Lyke said Groningse Panden is waiting for STHO to calculate the correct energy cost amount to deduct from the previous tenant’s security deposit.
The company said that because many of its previous tenants do not live in the Netherlands, presenting separate bills to pay for electricity could run a significant risk of people not paying their bills, so it did so. Said there was
BPW explained Withholding security deposits for unpaid utilities is not legally permitted. STHO is already tried Earlier this year, we planned to triple our energy costs, but canceled the plan after tenant opposition.
not the first time
According to a former tenant, this is not the first time Groningse Panden has withheld money it is due to return. BPW representatives also noted during the demonstrations that international students are often unaware of their rights and find it difficult to get their money back once the school year ends and they return home.
Sugar Homes is a complex of 250 short-stay container houses.Many tenants and former residents reported stains, the presence of mold and pests, and described the units in “substandard condition” despite the €50 cleaning fee.In 2019, Legionella bacteria found Sugar home water main.
https://northerntimes.nl/sugar-homes-deposit-protest/ Former Sugar Homes resident protests return of seized security deposit – Northern Times