UPDATE: No unilateral termination of contracts by agency of delayed student complex after all

UPDATE: No unilateral termination of contracts by agency of delayed student complex after all

Action by management agency Nido found to be unauthorised

08-02-2024 · News

UPDATE. Students' contracts for the Muse Einstein Campus in Randwyck, whose completion has been delayed, will not be unilaterally terminated by management agency Nido this week after all. Earlier, in an email to tenants, the company informed them that it did intend to do so. Doubts immediately arose as to whether the action was legal.

Update 9 February: Tenants received a mail from Nido today that the earlier message from this week - stating that the contracts are being terminated - can be considered unsent. The reason: unilateral termination by the landlord is not possible according to the contract after all. "Only the tenant can do that," a Nido spokesperson informed by phone. "Our earlier message was based on a preliminary opinion from our lawyer, but it turns out the situation is different from what we thought." Nido is still urging tenants to cancel the contract themselves so that "they can get back the deposit and any rent paid in advance."

Some 500 students were supposed to move into the new complex on 6 January, but this was delayed indefinitely due to technical problems (water in concrete slabs). Since then, the management agency has been actively encouraging tenants to cancel the contract. This would be to their advantage: they would get back the deposit and any prepaid rent. Moreover, they will be put on a 'priority list': when the complex opens, they can be the first to book a studio. The vast majority of tenants already heeded the call to cancel.

However, a group of 77 students held on to the contract so far. A common reason: to avoid losing rights. By mail, however, they are now receiving the message that Nido is unilaterally terminating their contract this week. According to the comapny, it is no longer valid anyway - as the effective date is no longer correct - and a new contract would have to be signed upon completion.

In a Whatsapp group for students, there are many questions. Is this even legally possible? "We are not doing anything that is not allowed, this has been checked with lawyers," a Nido spokesperson responded when asked. He points to a clause in the contract that would state that obligations of the landlord are suspended if the building is not available. "This is a common provision included in (almost) every contract and is especially important in new construction."

That it is more common in contracts is irrelevant, says Rick Blezer of the Huurteam Zuid-Limburg, which advises and helps students with rental problems. "The question is whether this provision is reasonable in this contract. You can't just include everything in this." Moreover, it is not as simple as Nido states to unilaterally terminate, Blezer said after looking at a contract. "It does not say here that Nido has this option, only that Nido is not liable. Of which, again, the question is whether that provision is legally valid."


Among the students, meanwhile, there is much suspicion. Does the management agency want to get rid of the tenants? And who is to say that that new contract does not suddenly include a higher rent? The Nido spokesperson denies this. "The rates are set in accordance with municipal regulations. We expect to be able to maintain them if the building is completed before July - the month when the annual statutory indexation takes place."

Blezer, however, questions Nido's actions. For instance, he points to the temporary accommodation at Dormio holiday park that the company offers to tenants in need. To do so, they have to sign an agreement. "In it, they explicitly confirm that Nido is not liable, in any way, for any damages suffered (and to be suffered) by the tenant as a result of the campus not being available on time. This is remarkable to say the least. Nido is not complying with the contract, but seems to be using the situation to get out from under any liability. If Nido were not liable (as they now claim), we believe this provision would also be unnecessary. This gives food for thought as to the how and why of Nido's actions."


Photo: Joey Roberts

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: nido,randwyck,student housing,delayed,muse einstein campus,students

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