A cunning move from the landlord
The weeks had passed and I still hadn’t heard anything – until last week. As I sat at the kitchen table writing my last essay, I heard my downstairs neighbour talking to someone. My ears pricked up and I froze. It was my landlord.
Although I had hoped that I would at least get some kind of reaction from him, I cursed his unexpected visit. He couldn’t have picked a worse day. I was already stressed because of my essay that I, in the best student tradition of course, had started way too late. Also, I was sitting there in my pyjamas with messy hair and no make-up, not ready to argue about the procedure.
A dishevelled German student
As he knocked on our door, I braced myself and searched in my Dutch vocabulary for the words that would not give him a feeling of complete superiority over this dishevelled German student. However, his visit turned into something I wasn’t expecting at all.
He was extremely friendly and politely asked if he could check his set of keys, because he would be coming the following week with somebody who would inspect the apartment in order to determine the house’s energy certificate. I was perplexed and just stared at him.
He tried the keys and was gone within two minutes after wishing me a nice day. He didn’t mention the rent reduction procedure at all, not even one word about it. Did he even realize that we had started the procedure?
Pretend love, peace and harmony
Puzzled by this brief encounter, I emailed Denise. She pointed out that acquiring an energy certificate was a very smart move by the landlord because the apartment would fare better in the points system on which rent reduction is based. It ensures that the landlord doesn’t have to lower the rent as much.
Somehow I felt betrayed. I hope the rent committee will take into account that the energy certificate was only acquired after the procedure had started.
Anyway, I’m anticipating the energy surveyor’s visit with very mixed feelings. Will there be pretend love, peace and harmony, even though we both know that he is here for a very specific reason? Will the landlord be open and react to the claims we have made? Or do I have to confront him about it? I wonder what will happen next!