UT spokesperson Laurens van der Velde says that the UT is aware of the developments of the property manager and the housing on the UT grounds. 'We receive developments through the media or otherwise.' According to Van der Velde, however, the landlord's dubious history is no reason to end the cooperation. 'That is not an issue, because there are no agreements that can be invoked. Our influence is very limited, because we are not a party to the contract.' Mosaic World owns the building and there is a long-term lease on the land on which the building stands.
Nevertheless, UT policy is such that students with a visa requirement are guaranteed a housing offer. 'In practice, this means that students register in Roomspot, where they have access to a restricted area and can choose from rooms at De Veste, Xior, the ITC Hotel and Mosaic World. An offer is then made for the room of their choice and the student is referred to the landlord.' If a student turns down a room, he or she must look for a place to live on their own.
The residents who recently won a case against the landlord are frustrated with the role of the UT. Wouter Waanders, one of them, is particularly surprised that the UT still refers people to Mosaic World to rent rooms. 'The annoying thing is that international students are often the victims of unclear rental conditions or an excessively high service charge bill. They are afraid to take action, because they fear that they will be out on the street.'
The UT indicates that the conflict is primarily a matter between tenant and landlord. Van der Velde: 'We do receive questions from students and we support them with advice and information on how things work and are regulated in the Netherlands. We cannot do more than that, because the UT is not a party in the conflict between students and their landlord.'
UNJUSTIFIED SETTLEMENT OF SERVICE COSTS
Mosaic World - formerly Camelot - wrongfully sent its tenants a settlement of service costs in 2019. Together with a specialised lawyer, 21 residents decided to go to the rent assessment committee. The commission ruled that the tenants were right and the court agreed in July. Mosaic World then had to pay back almost 35,000 euros and has since done so. It is possible that an even larger group of tenants will also start a case for the settlement of service costs for the year 2020.
The real estate organisation has been more often in the news in a negative way. In 2018, there were even questions asked in Parliament about it. Not much later, the landlord reduced the deposit for the homes in the Hogekamp from two thousand to one thousand euros. In 2019, residents 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.