10 May 2017 • HOP, by Irene Schoenmacker
Property owners angry with LSVb
The survey conducted by the Dutch National Student Union (LSVb) into the high rents for student rooms is ‘biased, not representative and seriously exaggerated,’ according to Vastgoed Belang, a branch organisation supporting the interests of private investors in property.
The LSVb suggested yesterday that three-quarters of students are paying too much rent [see the article in H|Nieuws]. By means of an online survey, students could see if their rent was reasonable for the floor space of their room and the facilities in their house as based on the point system.
Vastgoed Belang has major misgivings regarding the LSVb’s survey. Only 1.7% of all students living away from home completed this survey on which the student union is basing its findings. According to the branch organisation, this is in no way a random sample.
What’s more, students want to live in the city centre. This simply costs more, according to Vastgoed Belang. That ‘cursed’ point system utterly fails to consider this by applying the same rules to all the rooms. The branch organisation sees this as unfair. ‘It’s a typical example of outdated legislation.’
The system could result in a situation that makes it increasingly less attractive to invest in student rooms, warns Vastgoed Belang. According to this press release, the association has already received the first indications from room renters who are getting rid of their tenants and converting their buildings into separate residential units for the private rental sector.
The student union cannot agree with Vastgoed Belang’s objections. ‘You might not agree with the rules, but you should still comply with them,’ said its chairman, Jarmo Berkhout. The warning that there might be fewer student rooms in the future because renting them isn’t profitable enough seems like ‘almost a threat’ according to Berkhout. ‘Such a statement isn’t constructive.’
He doesn’t agree with the criticism that the sample didn’t yield reliable results either. ‘OK, it wasn’t a random sample,’ he admitted, ‘but it still provides a good picture of the situation because it involved enough respondents who are living in various cities.’