‘Student Hotels not an issue’

Minister Stef Blok is calling for students to sue for rent protection if they think the rooms at The Student Hotel are too expensive.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

Several weeks ago, the National Student Union (LSVb) complained about The Student Hotel, which has branches in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Eindhoven, in addition to the one in Groningen which recently opened. Universities, including the RUG, regularly house international students in the hotel. ‘The students pay enormous fees each month without any kind of rent protection’, union president Jarmo Berkhout said at the time.

Minister Blok does not necessarily see the problem. According to jurisprudence, whether the rental agreement is akin to the one used for renting a student room or whether it counts as a short stay in a hotel room depends on several factors, he says. So if students feel they are paying too much rent and want to know if they are eligible for rent protection, they should take legal action. ‘The government is not currently tasked with enforcing this’, Blok wrote in response to Parliamentary questions.

Agreements

It is also up to the students themselves to decide whether or not they agree with the price of the room. ‘In principle, it is up to the parties themselves to reach an agreement on the rental price’, according to the minister. The points system that is used to determine the maximum rental price of a room only applies to rented houses or student rooms.

Students living in a Student Hotel are ‘completely taken care of’ by the hotel, Blok says. They are given a furnished room with a private bathroom which housekeeping cleans, and the hotel also provides residents with a bicycle. This allows them ‘to fully concentrate on their studies’.

The LSVb is bummed out. ‘Unfortunately, we can’t count on any political support in our fight against the violation of students’ rights’, the party says.

Nederlands

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