Frequently Asked Questions...

Duwoners regularly receives questions about various topics that may be important for several tenants and for which you cannot turn to DUWO. These are the matters where you should contact DUWO first:

  1. For questions about normal tenant matters.
  2. For complaints. We recommend to do this as much as possible in writing.
  3. When interested in a home

Services…

The answer is simple: no. In 2012, the lessor (DUWO) in Amsterdam is obliged to collect municipal taxes from non-independent houses (“rooms”). As a result, the possibility for these tenants to apply for remission for these taxes has been dropped. DUWO now receives the assessments of the entire complex and will recover these costs from the tenants. Tenants of independent houses can therefore apply for remission.

MUNICIPAL TAXES THAT MATTER …

Municipal taxes that are important are the waste levy (AFV, for the collection and processing of household and bulky waste) and the treatment levy (ZH, for the cleaning of the waste water) that runs via Waternet. Duwoners finds it an unfair situation that non-self-employed tenants cannot apply for remission for these taxes. In other municipalities this is better arranged (see Delft, Leiden). We will lobby for this in Amsterdam that there will also be Housing Allowance for Room Tenants (TWK).

At the end of 2014, an e-mail was sent to tenants of a number of campusses in Amsterdam with non-independent houses informing them that the municipal taxes (AFV and ZH) will be collected via DUWO. This is already the case with most campusses, but this was not the case everywhere with older campusses. Duwoners was therefore asked for advice. We have recommended that these costs be periodically – therefore per month – charged as an advance, so that the tenant does not suddenly have to face major unexpected surprises if DUWO sends an invoice with the entire amount. It is wise to check the amounts. If you do not agree with the amount (you can see this at MyDUWO) you can always ask DUWO for clarification. If you are unable to solve it with DUWO, you can of course always turn to Duwoners for advice.

Most tenants have a service cost agreement, so you do not have to pay the costs of all kinds of small repairs yourself or have to solve the repairs yourself. Think of windows and doors that no longer close, a leaking tap, etc. DUWO Onderhoud (their maintenance service) also has to solve major problems with heating, shower or toilet. Visit DUWO’s website to find out which number to contact. You can also submit a repair request on their website.

The service cost subscription is included in the service costs; tenants of independent houses can cancel the subscription. If you have questions or complaints about the service, report this to DUWO in writing. If you can’t figure it out, you can of course also come to us for independent advice. You can contact us by e-mailing to info@duwoners.nl

Duwoners got the question what the deal is with the automatic collection of the monthly rent. Is this now mandatory or not? And can you pay with a giro collection form? The tenant organizations received a request for advice on. DUWO intended to oblige tenants in the future to have the rent transferred automatically. It saves DUWO a lot of administrative hassle and possibly also a loss of income. The advice of the joint tenant organizations was clear: transferring rent automatically should not become an obligation, but make it attractive for tenants to do so, for example by giving a discount. This advice was taken by DUWO. The giro collection form will disappear and payment can only be made digitally. Digital payment does not necessarily have to be done with an automatic collection, you can also transfer your money via internet banking.

With the campus contract you can stay in your home at DUWO for a maximum of six months after your studies. However, with some studies it may be useful to deregister for a while to maintain your registration period (think of a study in medicine and you have to wait a while to do your internships). As long as you can prove that you are going to study again within six months, there is no problem and you don’t have to do anything. In case of a check by DUWO, you must be able to prove that you will also be registered as a student again within that period. Without proof, DUWO assumes that you have deregistered definitively and will make steps to cancel your contract.

Yes, they are. Since a change of the housing law on the 1st of July 2016, the rules for short-term tenancy agreements are different. Tenants with this kind of agreement are now allowed to quit the contract with one month’s notice. It’s worth to mention that fixed-period contracts are normally not allowed in the Netherlands. However, one of the exceptions is the group of foreign students studying in The Netherlands (like many Accommodate tenants). Tenancy agreements with a defined time period (fixed-period contracts) have a maximum duration of two years for self-contained apartments or five years in case of rooms with shared facilities. The new rules of fixed-period contracts are mentioned on website of the Dutch government via this link. Unfortunately all information is in Dutch (thus find a Dutch-speaking student or roommate or otherwise contact us!). When you click on “Verhuur voor korte tijd”, you will find the new conditions for both (non-selfcontained) rooms and apartments.

Finances…

First of all we want to emphasize that the tenant is responsible for the rent benefit, and must apply for it himself. DUWO does not do that for you. You can apply for housing benefit until 1 September for not only the current year, but also for the year before. You can find more information about this on the website of the tax authorities. If you, as a tenant, have already been awarded housing benefit and are likely to rise above the housing benefit limit due to the rent increase of 1 July, what should you do? DUWO says that “if you receive rent benefit before the rent increase, you will continue to receive the same amount. Even if you exceed the rent limit for young people with the new rent.” Duwoners has checked this with the tax authorities. The information appears to be more or less correct. If you already receive housing benefit, you will no longer lose it by the so-called “acquired right”. You retain the right to the maximum housing benefit that you received earlier and this is indexed according to the tax telephone. So with a rent increase you will also receive a higher rent benefit. More information about this subject can be found here.

DUWO passes on changes to rental prices (and therefore also rent increases) a few times a year to the tax authorities. You can test yourself whether the rent increase has been passed on by looking at My Supplements on www.toeslagen.nl. If you have specific questions, it is best to call the tax phone.

DUWO sends automatic invoices for the service costs. Duwoners received many questions about the letter as it is unclear, especially for tenants of non-self-employed units. The letter states that it concerns an individual statement, but that is not clear from the appendix. If you suddenly have to pay 200 euros extra, it seems that these are common costs. It also says that you should address the residents’ committee with questions about the settlement. This is not right! If you have questions, you really have to be at DUWO, they are there to answer your questions. If all went well, the residents’ committee did review and check the common costs of your complex with DUWO. If you are wondering whether the statement is correct, if you want independent advice, or if you do not agree with DUWO’s answer, you can also contact Duwoners. We will see if we can help you. Duwoners did ask DUWO to provide better information when settling the service costs.

The answer to this question is yes, there are means to help tenants with this, both through DUWO and through Duwoners. DUWO basically pays for the paint to paint the walls of common areas. You can always approach them for initiatives like this. If there is no response or DUWO refuses to support you, you can always contact us. In addition, we as Duwoners also have a pot of money for this type of resident activities and especially for the things that DUWO does not want to reimburse. In the past, Duwoners has reimbursed picnic tables and has also contributed to the material costs for refurbishing spaces. If you want to claim this, then come up with concrete plans, then we will see what we can contribute. Perhaps more is possible than you might think! Improving the living situation can be inside (living room, hall, etc) but also outside (garden, bicycle shed). The important thing is: they must be improvements that benefit a large number of the residents of the complex.

Are you often not at home during the weekends or are you going on holiday for a longer period? Then you might consider renting your room through Airbnb or another similar site. Unfortunately this is not allowed by DUWO! There is a strict check on this and if you are caught there is a good chance that the lease will be terminated and you will receive a fine. Do you still want to sublet your room for a longer period? Click here for the options.