10 May 2017 • by the LSVb
73% of students pay too much rent
According to a survey conducted by the Dutch National Student Union (LSVb), 73% of students are paying too much rent: an average of €55 too much every month. In 17 of the 18 cities under review, students are being charged significantly too much rent. Worst off are students living in Amsterdam and Utrecht; they are paying around 100 euros per month too much.
Perhaps even more distressing is that this situation has improved hardly at all as compared to previous recent years. For this reason, the LSVb is calling for policy-makers to take action against rack renters. The student union will also make a tour through eight university towns in the Netherlands between 8 and 17 May to inform students of their rights as tenants. Jarmo Berkhout, Chairman of the LSVb: ‘Year after year, we’re seeing that students are paying far too much rent. It’s so bad that higher education could become unaffordable. This is why we think it’s high time for the government to take measures and for students to be properly informed of their rights.’
Students’ situation hardly improved
In 2015, 74% of the respondents were paying too much rent; in 2016, this was 73%. The fact that the situation hasn’t improved is worrisome indeed. Rent levels are determined by a legally established ‘point system’. Nevertheless, students are spending an average of more than €600 too much on rent every year. Evidently, landlords are getting around the point system in a major way. Private landlords are most often to blame for charging too much rent, but housing corporations don’t always comply with the rules either.
A glaring increase
The previous survey showed that students in Wageningen were the best off: on average, they were paying only €0.15 too much a month. This year, however, the figure is €40. So it’s not just a question of scarcely any improvement: it’s getting a lot worse in certain cities. Once again, Amsterdam ranked as the most expensive and most unethical city when it comes to renting a room. No fewer than 80% of its respondents were paying too much rent: an average of €115 too much a month. This is more than double the national average.
Appealing for an active policy
To inform students better about their rights and to appeal to policy-makers to do something about the problem, the LSVb will be making a tour through eight university towns from 8 through 17 May. After all, it is of utmost importance that the government finally takes action against rack renters. At present, trying to do something about excessive rent levels sits entirely on the shoulders of tenants. And when they try to do so, they are often intimidated by their landlords. Berkhout: ‘Landlords don’t comply with the rules, and it’s left to the students to do something about this. This is a completely unethical situation that municipal authorities and national policy-makers should correct immediately.’
The LSVb’s report is issued every year as based on information gathered on its online survey (www.checkjekamer.nl). There were 6,000 students who completed this survey in 2016: this was twice as many as in 2015. The survey is open only to students renting shared accommodations.