The reason for the CDA political party to take action is the rental contracts that residents of the Pauwmolen need to sign with the Plaza Resident Services rental company, previously called Camelot. The block of flats with 143 rooms for students and 142 units for first time home tenants up to the age of 28 years old was opened in 2021. Both the initial short duration of the rental contracts (up to six months) and the obligatory monthly service costs (EUR 150) and furnishings (EUR 90 to 130) led to criticism by Municipal Council members.
Students may occupy both the housing for students and that for young first time tenants. In the former, they sign a campus contract which means that they must vacate the rented property within six months of graduating. In the latter, as is the case with the other young people, they may choose from among rental contracts with varying durations.
‘The additional costs are pushing the price up to more than EUR 1,000 a month’
The CDA political party member Gerrit Jan Valk is happy that the original short duration of the rental contracts has been lengthened. What bothers him still, he says, are the additional costs. “The idea was that the housing for young tenants would be considered as social rentals and that the prices would thus not exceed the rent allowance limit. But the additional costs charged by the rental company on top of the basic rent mean that young tenants are now paying more than EUR 1,000 a month.” Valk believes that tenants should not be required to rent furnished flats. “This is not the norm in social housing. It is like living in a hotel room.”
Too few rules
In a Council Committee for Housing meeting on 17 June, it became clear (in Dutch) why rental companies can do this in Delft. According to Alderman Karin Schrederhof, at the time when the first contract was drawn up with the Pauwmolen project developer, too few rules were set. Prior to this, in answer (in Dutch) to questions by the CDA, the Municipality wrote that ‘no binding contractual agreements had been noted about the type of rental contract and rent’.
The CDA now wants to rectify this and wants to come up with a draft bill. Gerrit Jan Valk will soon consult a legal expert from the Municipality. It will then be clear whether new rules can be made and whether these would also apply to existing building such as the Pauwmolen.
In the meantime, Alderman Schrederhof says that tenants must consider the type of contract they sign. She promised to discuss with TU Delft how students, and international students in particular, can be better informed.