Help with disputes in rental properties

16 May 2022

Suppose you are renting a property in the Maastricht Region and you have a dispute with your landlord or landlady. This may be about various issues, such as the payment of rent or the state of your flat, room or house. If you feel you’re not able to solve these disputes yourself, there are agencies that can mediate and where you can obtain information, often in English.

For example, Huurteam Zuidlimburg is committed to fair treatment of all tenants in the Zuid-Limburg. Huurteam Zuidlimburg provides free advice and information about renting arrangements in social housing situations. They will also help you contact the landlord/tenant organisation or the Huurcommissie (Rent Tribunal).

The Huurcommissie deals with disputes relating to rent, rent increases and rent reductions, service costs, costs for utilities and the energy performance allowance, maintenance and home improvements. This mainly concerns housing in the social sector, but in some cases they can also mediate between tenants and landlords of houses in the private sector.

They will initially provide information and can act as a mediator. If you as tenant and landlord still can't work it out, there will be a hearing at which the Huurcommissie will make an independent ruling which will be binding on both parties.

You can also submit the matter to Het Juridisch Loket (legal advice desk) operated by the Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid. Lawyers at Het Juridisch Loket give general legal advice which is subsidised by the government. If you have more complicated questions which require the assistance of a more specialised lawyer, Het Juridisch Loket can refer you to one. 

Another option is the network. Their network of lawyers can be compared to the concept of Het Juridisch Loket. The difference is that you present your problem directly to a lawyer. In addition, their affiliated offices do everything on their own, which means that the lawyer is directly and more involved in your legal issue. Private individuals with a higher income, who are not eligible for financed legal aid (i.e. lawyer's fees that are partially reimbursed by the government), can also visit the inloopspreekuren (walk-in consultations) of the affiliated lawyers. This can often result in a high discount (in legal costs) if the issue has to go to court.