Last year I got the interesting question from an international friend: “We received a letter and it said: “afrekening service kosten” (reckoning service costs) we will get a refund, but have we not paid too much? And what is in there anyway? Is that common of living in NL, service costs of your house besides your rent? Well, this questions is not so easy to answer as it can vary a lot. As I am always keen on where our money goes, I will explain what service costs are and why you sometimes get a refund and in other cases you have to pay.
The month of May – eindafrekeningen
May is the month that you can expect all kinds of reckoning/ invoices (In Dutch eindafrekeningen). Electricity, gas, water but also service costs of your apartment or rental house.
When do you pay service costs in NL?
In most cases when you rent a house, you will pay for service costs. Also, when you bought an flat or a house with common facilities you also have to pay for service costs. But there is a difference, which I will clarify later. Service costs can vary from € 30,00 till € 350,00 a month.
Renting a house in the Netherlands and service costs
Above the rent of the house you will pay extra for maintaining the building, electricity, cleaning the staircases, sometimes washing the windows or maintenance for the elevator. So be aware and ask what’s in the price because it can vary from place to place. For a complete list in Dutch you can click here.
When you own a house or apartment and additional costs
Always ask on forehand if there is a Vereniging van Eigenaren (Owners association in Dutch also called VVE) and if you can watch into the documents and finances. In a flat building it is mandatory by law to have a VVE, a yearly reckoning and a maintaining plan for the building. The VVE has a board and decides with all the members about the common aspects of the building. Normally there is a deposit and plan for maintenance. All owners must pay their part. Costs which can be made by the VVE are:
– The same as when you rent a flat.
– Sometimes heating is shared, so you will pay for the heating system too.
– Reservation for maintenance and even making the building more sustainable in the future.
Once a year you should receive an invoice or reckoning. In that document you can read:
– What you have paid for
– What your part is in the costs of the building
– If there are additional costs that are made that year.
– And if you get a refund, nothing or need to pay a bit extra. This is because prices can fluctuate.
Hopefully this year you didn’t pay too much on service costs last year and get some refund to enjoy .