The landlord is not independently allowed to determine the price of rent. In order to determine the price of rent, a points system is used. This system can be found on the website of the rent tribunal, specified under ‘woningwaarderingsstelsel’, which is Dutch for housing evaluation system. In this system, points are awarded to certain aspects present in the residency. For example, whether the tenant has access to a private bathroom, or the size of the room, etc. Once all listed aspects have been addressed and all points have been awarded, the total sum of points corresponds to a certain level of the system’s table that shows the maximum amount of rent the landlord is allowed to collect.
Please be aware that there is a distinction between independent and nonindependent rooms. An independent room is one in which all services (bathroom, kitchen, etc.) are solely accessible to the tenant, and that the tenant has his/her own front door. In a non-independent room, the services are shared with at least one other tenant. The rent may only once a year be raised, within a fixed rate annually decided upon by the government.
In case the rent is higher than the allowed maximum amount of rent, the tenant may request a rent reduction through the rent tribunal. If the tenant has been renting for shorter than six months, they may enforce rent reduction and reclaim the excess amount of rent paid in these six months. This means that rent reduction operates retroactively for rental terms shorter than six months. In case the tenant has been renting for longer than six months, they need to propose a rent reduction to the landlord prior to taking further action. The landlord has six weeks to respond. If it were the case the landlord rejects the proposal or fails to respond, the tenant may approach the rent tribunal. Subsequently, the rent tribunal will assess whether or not the tenant has the right to rent reduction based on the tenant’s proposal. Since the tenant has been renting for longer than six months, the ruling of the rent tribunal does not have any retroactive effect. Please be aware that the rent tribunal assesses whether the tenant’s proposal for rent reduction is reasonable. If the proposal for the amount of rent is still above the maximum amount of rent and the rent tribunal considers the proposal reasonable, it is not the maximum amount of rent, but the proposed amount that will be established (since the latter is found to be reasonable).