Are Student Hotels short-stay facilities, or actually student housing in disguise? The Dutch Student Union (LSVb) suspects the latter, and is considering proceedings against the hotels.

According to the union, the room rates are too high – on top of which the student tenants don’t even enjoy rent protection. This week, LSVb and the Student Hotel got together to organise a debate on this subject.

The hotel ‘operates as a landlord, but presents itself as a hotel’, the union feels, which is why LSVb plans to take the management to court. “Students actually register at the hotel’s address,” says LSVb staff member Pieter ten Broeke. “And municipal administrations also refer to the rooms as housing units. The owners themselves say that they would like to offer housing, but that they work with a hotel permit because the rules aren’t as strict.”

Previous case

It’s a thorn in the union’s side. Ten Broeke refers to a previous case, in which a hotel wanted to evict a woman from her room after she had been living there for a few years. The resident was entitled to rent protection.

An encouraging ruling, in Ten Broeke’s view. “A legal expert who’s advising us says that based on that ruling, we have a good chance of winning this case. We are currently looking to see if we can initiate proceedings on behalf of the residents. Some of them are afraid that they’ll be kicked out of their room if they take the hotel to court themselves.”

Rotterdam has a Student Hotel on Willem Ruyslaan. First-year students enrolled at Erasmus University College are offered accommodation in this facility as a standard arrangement.