‘Student Hotel violating law’

Universities should not house their students at The Student Hotel, according to the Landelijke Studentenvakbond (National Student Union). ‘The rooms are very expensive and the tenants have absolutely no rent protection.’
By Peter Keizer / Photography door Traci White

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The Groningen branch of The Student Hotel opened its doors in July.

The RUG has reserved 40 rooms for PhD students in The Student Hotel. In addition to the recently opened Groningen branch, the hotel chain also operates in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Eindhoven, among other places. Several foreign students rent a room in the hotel because they have been unable to find housing of their own. The LSVb says this is a bad thing.

‘Students living in a Student Hotel pay huge amounts of rent each month, but they have absolutely no rent protection’, says union president Jarmo Berkhout. Because of their status as a hotel, tenants can be kicked out more easily. Moreover, The Student Hotel employees are allowed to enter the rooms at any moment. ‘In any ‘normal’ rental agreement, that would be considered trespassing’, according to Berkhout.

Furthermore, the rooms are way too expensive, the LSVb complains. ‘Students are paying up to 1,100 euros a month for a 19 metres squared room. That is two to three times more than the legal maximum for a similar room, according to the rental value calculation system.’

Short stay

Rent protection only applies to rental contracts of more than one year, RUG employee Jan Wolthuis responds. ‘Apparently, the LSVb wants to do away with short stay contracts, but it’s not true that The Student Hotel is operating outside the law. The LSVb is just thinking of a different law than the one that applies here.’

Due to a lack of student housing, hundreds of students are still looking for a room in Groningen. In addition to The Student Hotel, the RUG is also working with housing association SSH to house international students. SSH also uses short stay contracts that do not contain rental protection.

Update, 2:42 p.m.:

According to a response from The Student Hotel, the introduction of the bachelor/master system has seen an increase in international students looking for housing for a shorter period of time. The company says that the Dutch market was not yet catering to these kinds of tenants. ‘This particular group of students prefers quality, security and service over subsidies. We provide absolute security instead of rent protection, and that’s why we’re popular with students who have not yet cultivated a network of friends and family here’, says Frank Uffen, manager of partner relations at The Student Hotel.

Nederlands

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