Eighty percent of student rooms are too expensive

Cultural Heritage Agency, CC BY-SA 4.0, through Wikimedia Commons

These findings have come to light thanks to an investigation by radio programme Argos (link in Dutch). The show’s investigative journalists looked at the ads placed on Kamernet in September and the first week of October.

The maximum rent that landlords can ask for student rooms is set by law and determined by criteria such as the size of the room, the number of housemates, and the shared facilities. This system is designed to ensure that students are not charged too much rent.

However, despite these safeguards, Argos found that, in the cities of Utrecht and Amsterdam, it is practically impossible to find a room priced in accordance to the law: 95 percent of the rooms for rent in these cities are officially too expensive. Things are not much better in The Hague, Rotterdam and Groningen.

In Enschede, landlords are still sticking to the rules to some degree. In that city, one in three rooms is too expensive and the average rent charged for a room is 45 euros below the price permitted by law.

That makes Enschede an exception among the largest cities in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is at the other end of the spectrum: landlords there are charging an average of 307 euros per too much, per month.

The high rents reflect the housing shortage. Earlier this month, it emerged that the shortfall in student accommodation has risen to around 26,500 dwellings.

Today’s students spend an average of 46 percent of their income on rent, three percent more than in 2019. Almost half of the students (43 percent) who still live with their parents say they can't move to a student house because the rents are too high.