Alternatives to short stay contracts postponed

International students won’t be rid of the infamous short stay contracts any time soon. The municipality has announced that a study into alternative solutions is taking longer than expected.
By Giulia Fabrizi / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

In October, the municipality promised to research alternatives to the short stay contracts that international students often deal with when renting living space. Short stay contracts differ from regular rental contracts in that tenants often don’t have rental protection and pay more rent. In Groningen, students living in The Student Hotel, the Suikerlaan apartments, and the Rikkers-Lubbers house all have short stay contracts.

According to alderman Roeland van der Schaaf (Labour Party) the study, which was supposed to be finished at the end of March, is taking longer because the board has to make new policy. ‘We need to link short stay to broader policies because we don’t currently have a short stay policy’, Van der Schaaf explained during a meeting with the space and living committee on Wednesday. ‘It doesn’t just affect student housing, but other rental situations in the city as well. We need a little more time, to analyse how it correlates to our economic programme.’

Even though new policy will take some time, the municipal board will be looking out for landlords who abuse short stay contracts. ‘Short stay contracts should only be used if there is no other recourse, due to planning, for example’, he said on Wednesday afternoon. ‘One condition is that people don’t pay more rent, and that their rights and the quality of the housing are guaranteed.’

The board will be focusing on the abuse as part of the covenant: the agreement between the city and educational institutes to fix the housing shortage among students. Van der Schaaf hopes to be able to have a ‘broader discussion’ about the topic soon.


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