These findings have come to light thanks to an investigation by radio programme Argos. The show’s investigative journalists looked at the ads on the Kamernet website in September and the first week of October.
The maximum rent for student rooms is set by law and determined by criteria such as the size of the room, the number of housemates and the shared facilities. This ‘points system’ is designed to ensure that students are not charged too much rent.
Despite these safeguards, Argos found that in Amsterdam and Utrecht in particular it is almost impossible to find a room priced in accordance with the points system: 95 percent of the rooms for rent in these cities are too expensive. Things are not much better in The Hague, Rotterdam and Groningen.
86 percent of the rooms in Rotterdam are too expensive. On average, a student flat costs 527 euros. That is 37 percent more than they should cost according to the points system.
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Landlords in Enschede are still sticking to the points system to some degree. There, one in three rooms is too expensive and the average rent for a room is 45 euros below the price permitted under the points system.
That makes Enschede an exception among the larger cities. Amsterdam is the other extreme: landlords there are charging an average of 307 euros per month too much.
The high rents are a reflection of shortages on the housing market. At the beginning of this month it emerged that the shortfall in student accommodation has now risen to around 26,500 dwellings.
Today’s students spend an average of 46 percent of their income on rent, 3 percent more than in 2019. Almost half (43 percent) of students who still live with their parents say they are not prepared to move into student accommodation because the rents are too high.