"It's on my mind all the time"
Diyon Wickremeratne (19) from Sri Lanka is doing the Maastricht Science Programme and lived in the Avant Garde building on the Vijverdalsweg, managed by Jules, from January until July 2018. “At the beginning of July, I received a letter saying that I had to vacate by the end of the month. Strange, because I had a contract until December. I didn't make a fuss about it, because I wanted to move into the city centre anyway.” Repayment of the deposit, five hundred euro, would take a maximum of three months. “I am still waiting on three hundred of that amount,” says Wickremeratne. “That is a lot of money for me, I can live on that for two months. It is so terribly frustrating; it's on my mind all the time.” He sent various e-mails and even went to Jules' office. “They are always really nice, but they don't do anything. Last week, I informed them by letter that I will take legal steps if I don’t receive my money within two weeks.”
"They were very friendly. But, no money"
“In the summer of 2016, I viewed a Jules house on Skype while at home in Zeist and it looked fine,” says Gillian Lim (21), a student of Chinese and Communication at Zuyd Hogeschool. “The toilet on the first floor was broken, but Jules was going to repair that. When I left the house for the summer holidays in 2017, it still had not been repaired.” The bathroom and the garden were also in a terrible state, says Lim. “We issued a complaint and received half a month reduction on the rent. We all decided not to pay a whole month's rent. When I left in July 2017, I was told I would receive the deposit within three months. At the end of October, I still hadn't receive anything. I phoned and they were very friendly. But, no money. After a bad review of Jules on Google, they returned my call and transferred the money to me. Minus the half a month’s rent.”
Seven hundred euro, she is still waiting
Italian European Law student Francesca Giudici (23) lived in a Jules house on the Wycker Grachtstraat from August 2017 until July 2018. She has not received her deposit – seven hundred euro – back from Jules either. “Week after week, I sent e-mails, but they stopped replying in November,” says Giudici. “It is a lot of money and I'm very annoyed about it; I phone them almost every day. I can never reach the owner Karin; she is always in a meeting. She has never called me back. The staff always sounds extremely helpful, but they don't do anything. They just keep you waiting.” There were also things wrong with the house. Giudici: “If we used too many appliances, the electricity went off. Jules had locked the door to the meter cupboard, so we couldn't switch the lights back on ourselves.” Giudici is on an exchange visit to Luxembourg, but upon returning to Maastricht “will certainly not” do business with Jules again.
"She could see from my skin that the ventilation wasn't cleaned properly"
Pauline Werkhoven (24), master's student of Public Policy and Human Development, has lived in the Carré building on the Tongerseweg since September 2018, which until recently was managed by Jules. “The air quality was very bad,” she says. “My dermatologist recently asked what the ventilation was like in my house; whether it was cleaned properly. She could see from my skin that this wasn't the case.” Last October, a housemate asked on Facebook if there were others who had a problem with the house. “We got together as a group and sent a number of e-mails with various questions. We received very brief answers without solutions. We really want a solution, to know that it is being looked into. Is there a plan? We are not aware of anything.”