FAQ the rent increase
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for We Refuse the Rent Increase tries to provide insight into the (possible) questions that come with this promotion. This page will be updated periodically. Our goal is for people to know and use their rights and for barriers to be removed. In this way we not only provide individual answers to tenants, but we also build up knowledge collectively.
I have a question. What now?
- Read the full Step-by-step plan first on our website or if pdf.
- Does the step-by-step plan not answer your question? Check out the frequently asked questions on this page.
- Can't figure it out? Then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Finally, you can sign up for one of the webinars to ask your questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: The number of registrations gives us an indication of how many tenants are participating in our refusal campaign. By registering we can put you in touch with others who also refuse the rent increase and we can provide you and other participants with support, tips and information. It gives us the opportunity to keep you informed of the action through a newsletter and in some cities or towns we can organize residents in local solidarity networks who together refuse the rent increase. Finally, we can contact you when you indicate that you want to become active within our action group and invite you to participate. But of course you have to take the first steps to refuse the rent increase yourself.
A: Yes! The income-related rent increase is determined on the basis of the tenant's income and can be €50 or €100. The rent increase can also simply be refused in the event of an income-related rent increase, based on the steps from us Step-by-step plan.
In addition, it is also useful to know that this form of rent increase provides more reasons to submit a petition to the Rent Assessment Committee. For more information, see the website of the Rental Committee.
A: In the regulated (social) rental sector, you are better protected by law and it is easier to take action against the rent increase. In the free rental sector (initial rents above the liberalization limit), refusing the rent increase is in principle not allowed.
By refusing in the free rental sector you actually start a mini rent strike and you can send a clear signal to your landlord by continuing to pay your old, non-increased rent. A few things are important to know:
- Your rental contract and the law are leading about which payment obligations you have as a tenant. This means that you are formally obliged to ultimately pay the permitted rent increase to your landlord.
- Legal is the maximum 3.3% increase as of July 1, 2022 in the free rental sector, based on inflation + 1%. In some cases, your rental contract may state a lower rent increase, or even no rent increase at all. In that case, your contract is leading. So check your contract carefully to see if there is anything, and if so what it says about the rent increase.
- If you do not pay the permitted rent increase, there will be a (small) payment arrears of a maximum of 3.3% of your basic rent per month. This is a relatively small amount for the landlord and you can wait for a first payment reminder before you actually take action to pay.
- When the rent debt increases, you run the risk that your landlord will take steps. When the rent debt increases to 3 times the full, monthly rent (3 months rent arrears), the landlord can have your rental contract dissolved and the tenant evicted. It is also possible that your landlord engages a collection agency and recovers the collection costs from you. Read more about it here the maximum collection costs.
- Refusing the rent increase in the free rental sector is in fact a mini rent strike. Have you taken the above points into account and do you still want to refuse the rent increase? Read more tips about an action plan and the risks in the BPW brochure, “Eat first, then the rent”. Do not enter into this rental strike individually, but organize yourself collectively. Join the BPW and make a plan of action.
A: Tenants who participate in the promotion and do not pay their rent increase may receive letters from the landlord after 1 July with payment reminders and/or the notification that they have rent debt or rent arrears. These are often automatically generated letters for which there is no legal basis whatsoever. You have the right to refuse the rent increase by not paying it and you will therefore not have any rent arrears until the Rent Assessment Committee makes a decision.
Don't respond to your landlord's threats. When your landlord contacts you by phone, you can inform the landlord that you are not in arrears and request the landlord to follow the correct procedure by stopping payment reminders.
See also steps 6, 7 and 8 from the Step-by-step plan.
A: It is important to share such harassment with us. Scan or take a photo of any threatening letters and intimidation and send it to email@example.com. We collect such empty threats and call on landlords publicly (via (social) media) by sharing the threatening letters anonymously. In your e-mail, give explicit permission that we may use the threats anonymously.
A: Landlord and tenant must normally both notify the increase of the rent to the tax authorities so that the rent allowance can be adjusted accordingly. However, this does not always happen. In order not to complicate the process surrounding the rent allowance, we recommend that the landlord and tenant assume the new rent including rent increase.
The rent allowance is determined every year in November/December by the tax authorities for the following year. By that time, most tenants who participate in our action will know whether refusing the rent increase has been successful for them and they can still adjust the rent that is too high for the calculation of the rent allowance. For those who adjust their rent downwards after the calculation of the rent allowance, there is the risk of a minimal recovery of the excess rent allowance received. In most cases, the consequences of this will be minimal and will not outweigh the money saved by not paying the rent increase.
A: No, the only official way to withdraw a direct debit authorization is in writing. Use our standard letter. If you are late with canceling the direct debit and the increased amount has been debited for the first time after July 1, you can reclaim this rent payment once and cancel the direct debit in writing to participate in our promotion.
A: No, you do not need to ask your landlord for permission. Failure to pay the rent increase is a legal right and a form of protest. Read more about this in the Step-by-step plan.
A: Refusal of the rent increase is independent of the overdue maintenance. Overdue maintenance can always be sued and can be a reason for the rent committee to temporarily reduce the rent until the maintenance defects have been resolved. As long as the rent has been reduced for this reason, the rent may not be increased periodically as of 1 July. These are different procedures and the landlord must first be given written notice of default. If the right steps have been followed, overdue maintenance can be a reason to object as well as a good reason to request a rent reduction. Take a look at this this page of the Rental Committee.
A: Yes, failure to pay the rent increase takes precedence over the objection. In fact, you do not agree with the proposal.