Students take owner of Muse Einstein student complex to court

Construction work at the Muse Einstein Campus in January, a few days after students were supposed to move in

Students take owner of Muse Einstein student complex to court

Repairs have started, completion date still unclear

27-03-2024 · News

MAASTRICHT. A number of students have filed a lawsuit against ECM Development, the owner of the Muse Einstein Campus in Randwyck. They are demanding the keys to the studios they have rented and compensation for the extra costs they have incurred due to the delayed completion date of the building. In the meantime, repairs have started in the building, which has been plagued by water damage, but the completion date is still unclear.

About five hundred students heard at the end of December – only two weeks before the planned completion date – that they would not be able to move into the brand-new complex due to technical problems (water in prefab concrete slabs). Since then, manager Nido has actively encouraged tenants to terminate their contracts. A small group of 48 students, however, has not done this yet. A number of them have engaged a lawyer to demand fulfilment of their lease contract.

This has now led to a summons, which will be sent to the owner, ECM Development, in a few days’ time, stated lawyer Xavier Stassen from the Stassen Kreutzkamp lawyer’s office. A group of six students demand compensation for the extra costs they have incurred due to the fact that they had to go and find alternative accommodation at the last minute. “That was quite costly, because of furniture storage costs and high rents. They also lost out on rent subsidies, which they would have received for the studio in the Muse Einstein Campus.”

Circumstances beyond control

In addition, two students want to enforce the surrendering of the keys to their studios. “According to their contract, they have a right to this accommodation and as yet have seen no evidence that it is uninhabitable. They also demand compensation for immaterial damages, including stress and possible study delays, caused by this situation.”

Until now, ECM Development, just like manager Nido, have refused to accept any liability, claiming that the situation was caused by circumstances beyond their control. “But I feel it would be exceptional if the court were to agree with this,” says Stassen. “That is usually only the case when there are unforeseen circumstances such as a natural disaster, war or a pandemic, but not with constructional deficiencies. That comes under the owner’s risk.”

Damage repair

In the meantime, it is still unclear when the complex will be completed. An investigation into the water damage was concluded at the end of February, said a Nido spokesperson. “Shortly afterwards, construction company Hurks started repairs. This includes drilling holes into the ceilings of a considerable number of rooms, so that the water can drain. Everything then has to dry and be closed off again. At the moment, Hurks cannot give a date of completion. It is hoped and expected that this will be some time in the second quarter of this year.” Hurks itself stated by telephone that no questions will be answered regarding the situation. In January, the company denied to Observant that there was any damage to the building.

Maurice Evers, head of Maastricht Housing, hopes that the more than five hundred studios will be complete no later than July. In view of the influx of new students in September, this is “of crucial importance” to prevent a rooms shortage in Maastricht.

Temporary accommodation in holiday park has ended

Some fifty students who were at risk of ending up on the streets, stayed in holiday park Dormio in January, paid for by management company Nido. Half of them also made use of a one-off extension for the month of February, for which Nido did charge a rental fee – an exact amount was not mentioned, but according to Nido it was much lower than the actual cost of the stay in the holiday home. Students had to find their own alternative accommodation from March onwards. It seems like they have managed to do so, a Nido spokesperson said. “When the extension came to an end, there were fewer than ten students left in the holiday park. We have not received any signs of them having problems afterwards.”

Photo: Joey Roberts

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: nido,delay,lawsuit,court,student housing,muse einstein campus,room shortage,hurks,ecm development,students

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