Wouter Waanders (24) is one of the former residents. After paying 'a substantial amount' of service costs each month, he still received a final settlement of several hundred euros at the end of 2019. For other residents, the amount was even higher. The UT alumnus then decided to join forces with others, which resulted in a group of 21 residents who wanted to do something about the settlement.
Rent assessment commission
Because contact with Camelot was unsuccessful, the group decided to resolve the issue through the Rent Commission with the help of a specialist lawyer. This is an impartial organisation that prevents, tries to resolve or makes an official ruling on disputes between tenants and landlords. The Rent Commission ruled in favour of the tenants and the court agreed with them at the beginning of this month.
Camelot previously under fire
This is not the first time that landlord Camelot has been in the news. In 2018, questions were even asked about Camelot in Parliament. Not much later, the landlord reduced the deposit for the homes in the Hogekamp from two thousand to one thousand euros. In 2019, residents of the Hogekamp also (successfully) demanded their money back for cleaning costs and access to the digital portal. In May 2021, the landlord promised improvement with new rental contracts.
On the website it can be read that from January Camelot will go through life as Mosaic World, 'to better respond to the changing needs of our residents, tenants and clients. We will remain an organisation that moves, innovates and inspires.'
Fourteen days after the judgement, the alumnus - who by now no longer lives on campus - should receive just under 1200 euros from Camelot, plus the statutory interest. 'And I haven't heard anything about the thousand euro deposit either. I hope it will all work out, because the fourteen days have already passed, but I doubt I will receive the money quickly. If you search for Camelot now, you see that they have recently changed to a different name, but we will wait and see,' says Waanders.
Waanders does not exclude that it remains with the above ruling. 'Because this was all about the service costs of 2019. For 2020, a similar situation applies. I have to see if there is enough interest and if the legal specialists of Bumarang want to help again, but this settlement does not seem to be correct either. Hopefully the case law will help.'
Although Waanders is pleased that justice has been done, he would have liked to see the UT play a more active role. 'We have indicated what was going on and it is not the first time Camelot has been under fire. All we heard from the UT was that they had looked into it and that the settlement of the service costs would be correct. Moreover, the UT still refers people to Camelot, or Mosaic World as it is now called, to rent rooms. The annoying thing is that international students are often the victims of unclear rental conditions or an overcharged service charge bill. They are afraid to take action because they fear they will be out on the street.'