On 16 December, the tenants, who currently still have temporary lease contracts at Duivendaal through the Vacant Property Act, received a lease contract from the new owner Xior. This led to worries regarding the rent, the service fees and the conditions of the contract. Some tenants saw their monthly costs of rent and service fees increase by over 50%. The subletting of rooms has also been forbidden, and interviews for rooms are to be abolished.
Through discussions, representatives of the current tenants and Xior are trying to meet in the middle. Student Alliance Wageningen (SAW) is present during the meetings. ‘On Wednesday 9 January, we had a constructive discussion’, says SAW chair Nick Ligthart. ‘The rents already dropped somewhat, and Xior promised that tenants would get 10 percent discount during the renovations, but we still have several questions. One concerns the service fee for the washing machines. In the new contracts, these are set at 12.50 per month per tenant. This is really expensive: there are 23 people living along one corridor at Duivendaal. That means 287.50 euros a month to spend on a washing machine. To provide some context: it is possible to lease a washing machine for ten euros a month.’
According to Ligthart, Xior promised to consider the tenants’ and SAW’s questions and to come up with new contracts in the short term. Tenants will have to sign that contract before 18 January if they agree; if they do not, they can stay at Duivendaal for three more months at the previous rental cost while looking for a new place to stay.