Students living in a Student Hotel pay huge rents every month, with no rent protection, says Jarmo Berkhout, president of the Dutch National Student Union (LSVb). The LSVb is calling on municipalities to force Student Hotels to comply with rent law.
Student Hotels tend to be where foreign students rent a room when they are in the Netherlands on an exchange programme. There are similar hotels in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Groningen. According to the LSVb, there are 2,400 rooms in various cities in the Netherlands. In February, a new hotel will be opening in Eindhoven and there are plans for Maastricht and Enschede.
Residents have no rent protection
Tenants lack various rights in the Student Hotel. “They could be more easily evicted and Student Hotel operators may access the rented room. In a ‘normal’ contract, this would be described as unlawful entry of a dwelling,” according to the LSVb.
As a result of this structure, the rents are ‘very high’. For a room measuring nineteen square metres, students can pay 1,100 euros a month, according to a survey conducted by the LSVb. “That’s two or three times the legal maximum rent for a similar room.”
On Wednesday morning, The Student Hotel was not available for comment. The owner previously said in the NRC Handelsblad newspaper: “I never wanted to be a hotel. But with a hotel permit, I’m not bound to all those restrictions.” He was referring to the landlord’s levy and the maximum rent that landlords may ask for according to the points system.
'Municipal or national politics must tackle this problem’
“The Student Hotels are currently slipping through the net,” says LSVb president Jarmo Berkhout. “That’s wrong. They should be regarded as normal dwellings, so that students have more protection and pay normal rents.”
If the municipalities won’t cooperate, Berkhout hopes that national politics will take action. “It’s not only annoying for students, but also for other landlords. They now have unfair competition.”