Utrecht, 24 July 2020 - The housing situation of international students in the Netherlands has become worse due to the Corona crisis. This is the outcome of the Housing Hotline Report 2019/2020, which is a platform that collects questions throughout the year from international students regarding housing, of the Landelijke Studentenvakbond (LSVb). LSVb President Lyle Muns: “There is an explosive rise of questions in comparison with last year”. Internationals students who are lacking income or had to change their plans because of the lockdowns, are still in a vulnerable position when it comes to housing contracts that are flawed.
Last year, LSVb reported that international students have problems with finding housing, but are also unknown to the tenancy law in the Netherlands. Due to the problems of finding a place in the Netherlands, international students accept any contract that they get offered, often with agreements that are not in line with the Dutch tenancy law. LSVb President Lyle Muns: “Due to the lack of knowledge regarding the tenancy law in the Netherlands, international students are already behind. We have heard about landlords that fine the students 50 euro’s a day when they are late with the payment, while this is not legal. Or, when students want to move, the landlord does not want to determine the contract, while this legally should happen. And these are only two of the many stories we have heard.”
From the report, it has been concluded that the situation of international students in the Netherlands differs per city. In Nijmegen, only two questions have been asked, and in Groningen, four. In other cities, for example Leiden, 134 questions have been asked, and in Rotterdam, 93. “A part of the difference can be explained by the housing shortage in the Randstad. What in particular stood out, is that questions of international students arise from cities where there is no renting team (“huurteam”) or it is not cherished.” says Lyle Muns.
LSVb advises every student city to set up a renting team, where students can go to. Lyle Muns: “Higher educations institutions, housing companies and municipalities have a joint responsibility to protect international students. Vindicating the tenancy law is extremely important, but there also has to be a place where international students can go to in order to get help. We would like to ask cities as Leiden and Rotterdam to take this problem seriously”.