Three out of four students pay too much rent, the ‘Landelijke Studenten Vakbond’ students’ union has calculated. In Amsterdam, rental prices are sometimes two hundred euros too high, while students in Enschede actually get off cheaply. In Rotterdam, the average charges are just above the maximum rental based on the points system.
“Statutory rental protection for students is only true on paper”, writes the LSVb. “In practice, almost all students pay too much.”
On www.checkjekamer.nl, students can check whether their rental is in fact right. They can calculate the correct price based on questions (what is the surface area, how many others do you share the bathroom with, do you have your own kitchen?).
Smaller difference in Rotterdam
Almost 2,700 students have done just that. On average, they pay 323 euros in rental a month, excluding gas, water, electricity, internet, television etc. And that’s 58 euros too much. The discrepancy is less in Rotterdam: an average of 21 euros. Some students are lucky and actually pay less than their landlord is entitled to ask according to the statutory ‘points system’, but three-quarters pay more.
The LSVb does however add a few caveats to the findings. Those completing the check may already suspect that their rental charges are too high. This could distort the findings. Additionally, almost 80 per cent of all the respondents rent from a private landlord, rather than 40 per cent.
Amsterdam and Utrecht
Amsterdam and Utrecht are particularly notable. In Amsterdam, around half the respondents pay a hundred euros too much in rental. One in four Amsterdam students actually pay more than two hundred euros too much. In Utrecht, 86 per cent pay too much, by an average of 120 euros, while in Enschede, by contrast, students pay 29 euros less than the ‘points rental’. The discrepancy in Wageningen is barely a euro.
Students may appeal their rental charges through the rental commission. In some cities there are ‘rental teams’ who will assist with this.