Everything about service costs and other services and supplies
Service costs and supplies might sound familiar to you when you're renting a home in the Netherlands. When you rent a home, you need to pay an advance for general service costs and other services and supplies on top of your basic rent. Let’s explain to you what these service costs are, which costs are charged to you as a tenant, and how these costs are calculated.
What are service costs?
Your monthly rent consists of your basic rent, an advance for general services costs, and - if applicable - an advance for other services and supplies.
You pay general service costs for services we arrange for you, on behalf of the property owner, regarding the shared areas in the building you live in. Everyone living in the building pays for these services. The costs vary per building. Examples of general service costs are the costs for cleaning the building, garden maintenance, the caretaker, and glass insurance.
Besides the general service costs, it’s possible that you pay an advance for your individual usage of heating, water, electricity, internet, and TV. If you rent a semi-furnished or furnished home, you also pay a monthly advance for the depreciation of upholstery and furnishing, a so-called user fee. All these costs together are referred to as additional services and supplies.
In short, your monthly rent consists of your basic rent, an advance for general service costs, and (if applicable) an advance for services and supplies. In your rental agreement, we specify for what services and supplies you pay.
How does the service costs settlement work?
We base the advances you pay on average yearly usage. In the end, you pay for what you actually consumed. Therefore, we send you a yearly settlement bill for all the costs from the previous year.
In this service costs settlement, we first calculate how much you paid in advances in a certain year. These advances are divided into advances for general service costs and advances for other services and supplies.
Next, we look at the actual general service costs for your building in that year. These costs relate to all residences in the building. Therefore, we allocate these costs with a distribution key. To determine your share in the general service costs, we first calculate the total amount of rental days in your building (number of residences * 365 days). The total general service costs are divided by this amount to determine the general service costs per rental day. We determine your share by multiplying the general service costs per rental day by the number of days you've rented your residence in that year. You only pay for the days you’ve rented your home in that year.
Below we specify various cost items of the general service costs. We also describe how these costs are distributed between the tenants and the property owner, according to legal provisions and the guidelines of the Rent Committee.
- Cleaning common areas
Cleaning tasks in the communal areas of your building (e.g. corridors and the lobby) are carried out by an external cleaning party. These costs are charged to the tenants. Cleaning costs also include the costs for window cleaning. If an external party carries out this work, the labor costs are charged to the tenants. On the contrary, the costs for renting aerial work platforms - to access unreachable glass - are for the account of the property owner, and so are the maintenance costs for the outside lifts used to wash the windows.
Caretakers carry out activities regarding cleaning, maintenance, repair, supervision, and inspection of the communal areas. Since the caretaker carries out work that's important to both the tenants and the property owners, 70% of the costs are charged to the tenants and 30% are for the account of the property owner.
- Heating and electricity communal areas
The gas and electricity costs consist of the costs for usage in the communal areas, such as the corridors, lobby, elevators, and air handling unit. The tenants pay for these costs.
These are the costs for security in (a part of) the building to ensure safety. The security costs are for the account of the tenants.
- Various cost items are covered by 'Other costs':
- Garden maintenance
Does your building have a public (meaning: accessible to everyone) garden in or around the complex? In that case, the maintenance costs are for the account of the property owner. Does your building have a garden in or around the complex that's only accessible to residents? In that case, the maintenance costs are charged to the tenants.
- Moveable property
This includes the depreciation costs of movable property in the communal areas, such as CCTVs and inventory. The common costs for fire extinguishers are also included here. Fire extinguishers are important for both the tenants and the property owner. Therefore 50% of the costs for maintenance work and periodic inspections of the fire extinguishers and fire hose reels are for the account of the property owner. The other 50% is charged to the tenants.
- Maintenance of installations
This includes the costs related to the maintenance of technical installations (entrance doors, elevators, hydrophore), which may include 24-hour service (meaning that tenants can report a malfunction 7 days a week and 24 hours a day). 20% of the costs are charged to the tenants.
- Glass insurance
The costs for glass insurance are charged to the tenants.
- Replacing lamps
If we change a lighting source in the communal areas, the costs are charged to the tenants.
- Pest control
The costs for pest control are charged to the tenants.
- Garden maintenance
After determining your share in the general service costs, we look at your individual costs for other services and supplies, if you pay these advances through us.
If you pay in advance for individual supplies, such as heating, water, and electricity, we'll compare your advance payment to what you’ve actually consumed.
If there's an individual meter in your residence that measures your gas, electricity, and water usage, we determine your usage based on the data provided to us by the energy supplier, taking into account the start and end date of your rental agreement.
In some buildings, the heating, electricity, and water are arranged centrally. In that case, you don’t have a private meter, so we don't know the exact usage costs per residence. Instead, we allocate the costs with a distribution key.
- Depreciation inventory
If your residence is delivered including inventory (flooring, curtains, curtain rails, various equipment, and/or furniture), you pay depreciation costs for inventory in your monthly advance for other services and supplies. This is a user fee for providing a semi-furnished or fully furnished residence. In the service costs settlement, we specify what you've paid for the depreciation of inventory, based on your rental days. The amount you've paid as advance is always equal to the actual depreciation costs. Therefore, the balance is always zero.
- Internet and TV
We determine your share of the internet and TV costs for your residence based on actual rental days. First, we calculate the costs per rental day (total internet and TV costs / 365 days). Next, we multiply this amount by the number of days you've rented your residence in 2022.
- Administration costs
We charge administration costs for all administrative actions required to create your service costs settlement. According to the guidelines of the Rent Committee, we charge 5% administration costs for general service costs, depreciation, internet, and TV, 2% administration costs for water, and 1% for electricity and heating.
At the bottom of the service costs settlement, we compare your actual usage to your paid advances. Did you use less than what you paid for? Then we'll refund the difference. Did you use more than you paid in advance? Then you need to pay extra. If we notice that the advances are not sufficient to cover the actual costs, we may decide to increase future advances.
When will I receive the service costs settlement?
You receive the settlement bill within six months after the end of the calendar year. For example, if the service cost settlement is for the year 2023, you must receive it before July 1, 2024.