FAQ

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Office hours

What are the office hours of Frently?

Our opening hours are as follows:
Monday Rental checks by appointment
Tuesday 10 am. – 17.00.
Wednesday Rental checks by appointment
Thursday 10 am. – 17.00.
Friday 10 am. – 17.00.
Closed Saturday
Closed on Sundays

On Monday and Wednesday you can make an appointment for a rental check. We will then visit your house to calculate your maximum rental price. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays our office is open from 10 AM until 5 PM.

Make an appointment

Do you have an urgent question? In that case you can also visit without an appointment. Keep in mind you might have to wait a bit before we can help you.

Can I make an appointment with Frently?

Yes, you can always make an appointment with Frently. An appointment is free of charge and without any obligations.

We perform rent checks on location on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Tuesdays and Fridays you can make an appointment at our office. You can book an appointment online.

Make an appointment

Rent reduction

How can Frently lower my rent?

Your rental price consists of two parts, namely the basic rent and an advance payment for the service costs.

1. Reduction of the basic rent based on the points system
The basic rent is the amount you pay for the use of your house (the size and the facilities). According to Dutch law, a landlord can not ask more basic rent than the legally determined maximum rent of your room or apartment. This maximum rent is calculated on the basis of a points system. Depending on the size and facilities that are present in your home, you get more or less points. To a certain amount of points, corresponds a certain maximum rental price.

If you currently pay more rent than the maximum permitted rent, you are entitled to a reduction of your basic rent.

2. Reclaiming the overpaid service costs
In addition to the basic rent, most tenants also pay an advance for the service costs. Service costs are all costs you pay on top of the basic rental price. Think of the costs for gas, water, electricity, furniture, television and/or internet. At the end of each year, your landlord is obliged to send you an overview of the costs of the services he provided. Did you pay too much money in advance? Then you should get back the advances you overpaid. On average you should pay € 60,- service costs for a room and about € 100,- service costs for an apartment.

If your landlord never sent you a settlement of the overpaid service costs, Frently can reclaim these service costs for you (even after you have moved).

3. Reduction of the basic rent because of the presence of defects
Your landlord is obliged to fix all defects in your house within a reasonable amount of time (usually this is six weeks). If he does not, you will have less living comfort and therefore you are entitled to a temporary reduction. Common defects are: you are not able to lock your room or window, leakage, mould, insufficient ventilation, no ventilation in the toilet or the stairs have no banister.

Frently can temporarily lower your rent to 20%, 30% or 40% of your current rental price if your landlord does not repair the existing defects. As soon as the defects are fixed, the rent will go back to it’s original amount.

4. Splitting and reduction an all-in rental price
A rental price must always consist of a basic rental price and an advance payment for the service costs. Sometimes a landlord asks for one amount without splitting these two parts (a so-called all-in price). All-in rental prices are forbidden by law because this way you are not able to check whether the basic rent is too high and/or whether you have paid too many service costs to your landlord.

If you pay an all-in rent, Frently can make sure your rental price will be split and reduced. Your rental price will then become 55% of your current rent and your advance payment for the service costs will be set at 25% of your current rental price.

Make an appointment

How does such a rent reduction process work?

1. Rental check
Before we can lower your rent, we ask you to make an appointment for a rent check (free of charge and without any further obligations). A rental check takes place at your home. During this appointment we will measure your accommodation and calculate the maximum permitted rental price.

2. Appointment at the office
If the rent check shows that we can lower your rent, the next step is to make an appointment at the office. During this appointment we will explain the procedure and sign the agreement between you and Frently. You should bring a valid proof of identity and your rental contract to the appointment at the office.

3. Letter to the landlord
If you have been living in your accommodation for more than six months and does your procedure concern a reduction of the basic rent or did your landlord send you a service c costs overview? Then we will send a letter to your landlord. In this letter we ask your landlord to voluntarily reduce the rent and/or we ask him to fix the defects in your house.

If you are still within the first six months of your rental contract or if your case is about the fact your landlord never provided you with a service costs overview, this step will be skipped.

4. Handing in your procedure at the Rental Committee
If your landlord doesn’t repair the defects, if he doesn’t agree with the proposal to reduce the rent and/or if you just moved into your room/apartment, we will hand in your procedure at the Rental Committee.

5. Investigation
Next, the Rental Committee will schedule an investigation in your house. During this investigation, the Rental Committee will measure your house and/or take pictures of the defects. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Of course Frently is also present during this event.

Is your case about the service costs? In that case the Rental Committee usually does not come to your house. They will perform their investigation behind the scenes.

6. Hearing
The next step concerns the hearing with the Rental Committee. During this session your procedure will be handled in front of the Committee. One of Frently’s members will be present during the hearing to represent you. You do not have to be present yourself, but of course you are welcome to join us.

7. Verdict
About 4-6 weeks after the hearing, the Rental Committee will make a decision and decide whether it is reasonable to lower your rent. The verdict will be made in writing and will be sent to you via email.

8. Reclaim rent/service costs
The last step involves reclaiming the money you overpaid to your landlord. Frently will send a letter to your landlord with a payment term of 14 days. If the landlord does not pay, we will bring your case to the Court or a debt collection agency in order to reclaim your money.

9. Invoice and completion of your case
After your landlord paid back the rent and/or service costs, we will send you the invoice for the services we provided.

How long does it take before my rent is reduced?

If you have lived in your current house for less than six months, your rent will be reduced from the first month of your rental contract.

Did you move into your accommodation more than six months ago? In this case your rent will be reduced from the future onwards. In case of a rent reduction because of the presence of defects, the reduction applies from the first of the month after the defects were mentioned to your landlord. A rent reduction on the basis of the points system will be applicable two full calendar months in the future.

In general, a procedure takes about six to eight months. The duration of the procedure depends on the availability and planning of the Rental Committee, but also on the cooperation of your landlord. Of course, the rent you overpaid will be reclaimed for you.

I'm moving. Does the rent reduction also apply to the new tenant of my room?

No. The verdict of the Rental Committee will be considered a new agreement between you and your landlord. The agreement between a new tenant and landlord is to be seen separate from the verdict. If the new tenant also wants a rent reduction, he has to start a separate procedure. It is true that this procedure generally runs a little faster because the details of the house are already known to us and to the Rental Committee.

Do I get back the rent I overpaid in the past?

If you start a procedure within the first six months of your rental contract, we can reduce your rent with retroactive effect. In that case, we will ensure that you get back the rent you overpaid to your landlord during the previous months.

If you start a procedure after you have already rented the accommodation for (more than) six months, we can reduce your rent starting two full calendar months in the future. In that case you will not be able to get back the rent you paid to your landlord in the past. However, it may be that you have paid too many service costs. Overpaid service costs can be reclaimed for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Service costs overview

My landlord sent me an overview. Do I have to pay extra?

Many landlords also ask for an advance for service costs, on top of the basic rent. Service costs are all the costs you pay for additional supplies and services. The most common service costs are gas, electricity, water, internet, TV, upholstery and furniture. Service costs are always intended as advance deposits. Every month you pay a certain amount to your landlord. At the end of each calendar year your landlord should calculate how much you actually consumed and pay you back the difference. Your landlord should present the final service costs bill no later than six months after the end of the year, so no later than June 30th.

If it turns out that you have paid more service costs than you actually consumed, you are entitled to get money back. If you have never received anything back from your landlord, make an appointment with Frently to see if we can help you to reclaim any overpaid service costs.

Make an appointment

Rent increase

Is my landlord allowed to increase my rent?

In principle, your landlord is not allowed to increase your rent. This is only allowed if your rent is at or below the legally permitted maximum. If your rental price is already higher than allowed, the rent can not become higher. Calculate your maximum allowable rental price through our online rental check.

The government has determined that your rent can only be increased once per 12 months by a fixed percentage. For July 2018, the basic percentage for tenants of rooms is 2.9%. The basic percentage for tenants of apartments is 3.9%. Only in case your yearly earnings are over € 41.056, the percentage for apartments is 5.4%.

Can I object to the proposed rent increase?

You can object against a rent increase proposal if:
– the proposal does not meet the legal requirements;
a. The proposal must be sent to you at least two months in advance;
b. The proposal should mention your old basic rent and the new basic rental price;
c. The increase percentage must be stated as well as the amount of the increase;
d. Finally, the proposal should mention how you are able to object against the increase.
– your rental price will exceed the legal maximum;
– a temporary rent reduction has been issued or a procedure has been initiated connected to a lack of maintenance.

How do I object to the proposed rent increase?

Through this form you can object to the proposal to increase the rent. After you have sent the form to the landlord, the rent increase will not take place. If the landlord wishes to increase your rent despite your objection, he must ask the Rental Committee if the rent increase proposal is reasonable. Only after the Rental Committee has made a verdict stating that the increase is reasonable, you must pay the increased rent.

I received a reminder/debt collection letter from my landlord. What should I do?

If you have objected to the increase proposal, you can ignore the letter. In that case, the landlord must ask the Rental Committee to assess the proposed rent increase. Only when the Rental Committee has ruled that the increased rent is reasonable, the increase will be implemented.

If you have not objected and have not paid the rent increase, the following applies:
If the increase proposal has been sent by registered mail, then you, as a tenant, have to ask the Rental Committee whether the proposal made by the landlord is allowed. Only after the Rental Committee has ruled that the proposal is reasonable you should pay the increase (with retroactive effect).

If the increase proposal was not sent by registered mail, nor is the reminder, you can ignore the reminder/debt collection letter. If the landlord sends you a registered reminder letter within three months after the date he wishes to increase the rent, then you, as a tenant, have to ask the Rental Committee whether the proposal made by the landlord is allowed. Only after the Rental Committee has ruled that the proposal is reasonable you should pay the increase (with retroactive effect).

Do you need help?

Make an appointment

Rental termination

Can my landlord terminate my contract because I want to lower my rent?

No, this is absolutely impossible. Your landlord can only terminate the rent if he has a legal ground for cancellation and this ground of cancellation must be proven by him.

What grounds does a landlord have to end a rental contract?

Your landlord can only terminate your rental agreement if he has a valid termination ground. He must inform you at least three months in advance by registered letter. Below you will find the four most important grounds for cancellation:

The tenant does not behave as a good tenant
Think of a tenant who did not pay rent for three months or a tenant who deals hard drugs and is causing serious nuisance. In these cases the ‘bad behaviour’ has to be very serious in order for this ground to be valid. Being late with the rent once or twice will not easily lead to a valid termination of the lease contract.

The owner desperately needs the house for his own use
This ground becomes relevant if, for example, the landlord owns two houses and one of them is destroyed by a fire. Or when renovations to a building are so urgent that it is not possible to wait until the tenant has moved. The sale of a property does not constitute as an urgent need for his own use (the new owner automatically takes over the rental contract).

The municipality changed the destination plan and the landlord needs to comply
If the municipality has designated the building as a shopping destination, and the landlord wants to start a store in the house, in principle the landlord can terminate the lease. However, this situation is very rare as most homes also have a residential destination.

The tenant does not agree to a reasonable proposal to enter into a new rental contract
This termination ground is meant especially for independent accommodation. Think of a situation in which the owner adds extra isolation the house after consulting with the tenant. Since extra isolation increases the living comforts it would, in some cases, be reasonable to adjust the rent.

Please note that a so called temporary contract automatically ends at the end of the period stated in the contract. The fact that a contract states a fixed period does not automatically mean you have a temporary contract! Please bring by your contract if you want to know what kind of rules apply to your rental contract.

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I have a contract for 12 months, but I want to move. Can I terminate my contract early?

If you have signed a contract for a certain period of time, f.e. 12 months, it means that you have to pay rent for 12 months. In principle, you cannot cancel the rent early. The only exception to this rule is in the case your landlord agrees to early termination.

If you have a temporary rental contract, you can always terminate the contract taking into account the notice period. This term is usually one month.

For non-lawyers it is often very difficult to determine whether you have a contract for a definite period or a so-called temporary contract. Not sure what type of contract you have? Make an appointment at our office to see what type of contract you have.

Make an appointment

Subletting a room

Am I allowed to sublet my room?

Subletting your student room is only permitted with permission from your landlord. We advise you to obtain this permission in writing, for example in an email. A different rule applies to apartments. If you want to sublet a part of your apartment (for example a room) you do not need permission, unless your rental contract explicitly states that subletting is not allowed.

Do you have a template contract for me?

The Municipality of Amsterdam has a template rental contract” placed online that you can use. We advise you to fill in the contract together with the subtenant and not to adjust the contract yourself.

My procedure

What is the status of my procedure?

Regarding the status of your procedure, we will keep you informed by email. If you have not heard from Frently for a while, it means that we have no news. In our last email you can see what the next step will be and how long it takes before we will contact you again.

Can I terminate the contract I signed with Frently?

Yes, it is possible to terminate the agreement you signed with Frently. Keep in mind that a termination of the agreement involves costs due to the fact that we have performed work for you. Are you considering to stop the procedure? For your own sake, please make an appointment at our office before signing any documents with your landlord. This way we can make sure you don’t sign anything in your disadvantage and we can make sure of how to terminate your procedure. For the exact conditions and compensation of our services, we refer to the agreement that we have signed.

I have received the verdict, but my landlord does not want to pay.

If your landlord doesn’t pay after we sent him a reclamation letter, we will send him/her a final demand. If the landlord also doesn’t pay after this step, we will bring your procedure to court.

Pay attention! In order to do so we need the following information: your BSN, current home address and a copy of your passport. If you have not yet provided all the information, we advise you to make an appointment and/or mail the data to info@frently.nl.

Registration at the municipality

Am I obliged to register at the municipality?

You must go to the municipality within five working days after your arrival in the Netherlands. If you do not comply with the declaration period, the municipality can give you a fine.

A landlord can not forbid you to register at the address of the rented accommodation.

Make an appointment with the Municipality of Groningen via this link.

About Frently

What are the costs of Frently's services?

Do you have a rental related question? Our advice about your rental contract or about a problem with your landlord is completely free of charge.

The other rates can be found on our fees page.

Do you work outside the city of Groningen?

Unfortunately we can not advise tenants and assist you if you do not live in the city of Groningen. You can, however, try to get in touch with some other organizations who deal with rental problems:

Stichting Woon! Amsterdam
T 020 523 0130
E centrum@wooninfo.nl

Huurteams Nijmegen
T 06 242 474 73
E info@huurteamsnijmegen.nl

Huurteam Rotterdam en Schiedam
T 010 214 27 99
E info@huurteamrotterdam.nl

Huurteam Utrecht
T 085 273 49 33
E info@huurteam-utrecht.nl

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