LET’S GET RID OF THE LANDLORD LEVY!

If you let social housing on a large scale, you are liable to pay a landlord levy to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration each year: the Verhuurderheffing. We at Jeremia B.V. believe, for well-founded reasons, that the landlord levy is unlawful and should be abolished. Come and join forces with us and together we will bring a collective lawsuit against the Dutch State to end the landlord levy once and for all.

CRISIS MEASURE

The landlord levy was introduced in 2013. It is an invasive tax measure that is solely imposed on landlords who let social housing. The landlord levy was intended as crisis measure, to plug a gap in the central government’s budget. Although the crisis is long over, the landlord levy is still charged. What is more, it has only increased in the past few years!

Nearly all landlords of social housing believe that the landlord levy is unjust. They fail to see why the social housing sector should be taxed. Not only does the landlord levy depress the landlords’ results, more importantly it prevents the building of more social housing. This in a time when the possibility of finding affordable housing is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for those on a low income. High time, therefore, to get rid of the landlord levy once and for all.

CLASS ACTION LANDLORD LEVY

The ‘Class Action Verhuurderheffing’ is a collective lawsuit that can be joined by all social landlords who pay the landlord levy, on the basis of no cure no pay. The collective lawsuit was initiated by Jeremia B.V., founded by a respectable entrepreneur who, among other things, is active in the area of social housing. This entrepreneur asked his lawyers to review the legality (or lack thereof) of the landlord levy.

He does not want to keep the results for himself, but wants other landlords liable to pay the landlord levy to benefit from them as well. This has led to the creation of the Class Action Verhuurderheffing lawsuit. By joining forces, the landlords will be able to present a strong case in the proceedings against the Dutch State, to put an end to the long-standing injustice that is the landlord levy.

PARTICIPATE


JOIN US leave your contact details here if you want to sign up for this class action.

We will subsequently contact you.




Class Action Landlord Levy

is an initiative and trade name of Jeremia B.V. (CC-nr. 75019132).


 
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CLASS ACTION VERHUURDERHEFFING

The Class Action Verhuurderheffing is a lawsuit brought by landlords jointly to get the landlord levy declared unlawful and have this measure declared non-binding. As a result, landlords will no longer be liable to pay landlord levy and those who joined the lawsuit will get the landlord levy they paid during the proceedings refunded.

Every year you have to pay a substantial amount of landlord levy. We believe that you are wrongfully charged these levies and that you are therefore entitled to a refund of the landlord levies you have paid. Bringing a lawsuit against the unlawful landlord levy is a complex matter since the legislation and, even more so, its background are complicated. This also makes bringing a lawsuit against the landlord levy a costly affair. For these reasons, most landlords do not consider it worthwhile to initiate proceedings independently. However, it’s an entirely different ball game if the landlords were to join forces in a collective and initiate legal proceedings together. Collectively starting proceedings also sends out a stronger signal to politicians to review the policy with respect to the landlord levy (including any measures related to it. Precisely because this policy is a highly lobbied topic, the advantages will be substantial.

Yes, all landlords who are liable to pay the landlord levy may join the Class Action. They include housing corporations, institutional investors and private investors who own more than fifty public-sector houses.

A class action is a tried and tested means whereby several parties join forces to bring a collective lawsuit on a subject matter that concerns them all, in this instance the landlord levy.

During the first eighteen months of the Class Action Verhuurderheffing (until 31 December 2020), the arguments formulated will be treated confidentially; these will not be shared with the participants. The intention behind this measure is to prevent participants from using these arguments independently – outside of the Class Action – to bring lawsuits against the landlord levy. Doing so would detract from the advantages of a collective procedure and would diminish its efficacy.

The Class Action Verhuurderheffing is based on an in-depth review performed by specialist lawyers. According to this review, in certain regards the landlord levy is ‘legally untenable’. These arguments were never used in earlier lawsuits against the unlawfulness of the landlord levy. The lawyers and the initiators of the Class Action Verhuurderheffing are convinced that, in view of these new arguments, the court will (eventually) rule that the landlord levy is unlawful.

Our purpose is to obtain a fundamental judgment in which the landlord levy is declared unlawful, or a judgment that will result in the abolishment of the landlord levy.

A settlement might be an alternative to a final judgment. But a settlement will only be possible if the Dutch State is willing to consider it and if the majority of the members of the Class Action agree to this. In that event, the members will have a vote proportional to the landlord levy they pay (the more levy they pay, the more voting rights). The decision to settle, or to aim for a fundamental judgment, therefore ultimately rests with the members.

Participation is easy. You can fill in your contact details on our website. We will subsequently send you a participation agreement, which you need to sign and return to us. We will additionally send you a form in which we ask you for further information about your social housing. With the correct data in our possession, we can then conduct the Class Action Verhuurderheffing on your behalf as well. Lastly, we will need a copy of your landlord levy tax return for the year 2019.

It is important that you file and pay the landlord levy tax return in time. The deadline for paying the 2019 landlord levy is 30 September 2019. If your organisation considers joining the Class Action, it should not pay the landlord levy until the last week of September 2019. This is because the deadline for filing an objection – which initiates the Class Action – is six weeks after payment. If the members do not pay the landlord levy until the final week of September 2019, the notice of objection may be simultaneously submitted on behalf of all members until mid-November 2019 (a kind of collective objection).

If you do not pay the landlord levy to the tax authorities until the last week of September 2019, you may still join the collective objection, which we will file before mid-November 2019. This means that you will have up to and including 23 October 2019 to decide whether you want to sign up.

If you paid the landlord levy to the Tax and Customs Administration before the last week of September 2019, then the deadline before which you must file an objection may already have expired by the time we lodge the collective objection. That would mean that you cannot be named in the collective objection of 2019, but you can still participate in the lawsuit in 2020. If you have paid before the last week of September 2019, we can discuss together whether you can be named in this year’s objection.

In that case you can still decide to join the lawsuit for the landlord levy tax return for 2020 - we expect that the lawsuit will still be ongoing then. The downside is that, if the lawsuit is successful and you are to be refunded the landlord levy, the refund will not apply to the landlord levy that you paid for 2019. The sooner you decide to join in, the more landlord levies you will be refunded.

We will set up a dedicated section of our website to which only members have access, using a login code. In that section we will keep you abreast of the status of the lawsuit. If there is made a new announcement on the website, you will receive an e-mail.

Hearings of the Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court are public.

This is impossible to predict. Legal proceedings may take several years, especially when the stakes are high. If a settlement is reached, the Class Action may end early.

If the lawsuit is successful, you will be refunded the landlord levies for those years in which the lawsuit has taken place. For example: If you are in time to join the Class Action Verhuurderheffing for 2019 and the Court rules in December 2025 that the landlord levy is unlawful, then you will be refunded the landlord levies paid over 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.

You may leave the Class Action at any time without having to state reasons and free of charge. However, this means that your objection and proceedings will be cancelled and that you will no longer be entitled to any form of restitution.

The arguments that will be used in the Class Action lawsuit are based on the Landlord Levy Act. This means that the lawsuit has a neutral basis: any landlord may raise these arguments. The arguments will be brought forward independently from the specific characteristics of the members who signed up for the Class Action. Naturally, we will refrain from using arguments or language that may harm the reputation of the members.

Yes, your information will be secured. The class action lawsuit will be conducted by lawyers who are under attorney-client privilege. These lawyers will furthermore ensure that no information specific to a landlord is shared with the other participating landlords without reason.

‘No cure no pay’ means that your organisation will only owe a fee if the Class Action is successful, i.e. if the landlord levy is abolished by court judgment or settlement and the landlords in the Class Action get the landlord levy refunded. If the Class Action fails, you will not have to pay anything.

The costs and risks are borne by Jeremia B.V., the company behind the Class Action. It will pay all legal costs, including the order for costs if the court finds against the members of the Class Action.

If the Class Action against the landlord levy is successful, the members will get the landlord levy refunded from the year in which they joined the Class Action. In other words, if the Class Action starts in 2019 and the final decision is delivered in 2025, the member will get all landlord levies paid in respect of 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 refunded by the Tax and Customs Administration. In that case, Jeremia B.V. will be entitled to a success fee of 20% of the refunded landlord levy, based on a maximum of four years.

The success fee is inclusive of VAT.

The participant concludes a participation agreement with Jeremia B.V.

The proceedings are conducted by Z.H. van Dorth tot Medler. (Van Dorth Advocaten) and K. Beumer (Beumer Advocaten). The aforementioned lawyers are hired by the initiator Jeremia B.V.

CONTACT