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Failing to register a change of address costs money


Have you registered with the municipality where you live? If not, you are liable to pay a hefty fine and your municipality will be missing out on a lot of revenue.

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Since the basic student grant was abolished in 2015, students have been less likely to see the benefits of registering a change of address when they find new accommodation. Unlike in the past, students who have left home no longer receive an additional grant from DUO. This means that Dutch municipalities have less data on how many students are registered in their area.

Millions missed in funding
As a result, student cities are missing out on millions in funding every year, according to a tour by the BNR news channel last summer. Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Wageningen, Delft and Utrecht are entitled to a government funding grant of €1,200 per student, but they do not receive this money if those students fail to register.

Local council party Student & Starter told BNR that there are about 3000 ghost students in Utrecht. When DUB made a phonecall, however, it appeared that precize numbers are not known

The Maastricht city council wanted to know how much income the city is missing out on. However, the municipality was unable to specify this amount this week, writes university magazine Observant. There are also concerns in Utrecht, Groningen and Leiden. The municipalities are hoping to get back on track with special registration sessions, welcome gifts and closer cooperation with student associations.

But students would be well advised to notify their municipality of their new address themselves. They risk a penalty fine if they have not done so within five days of changing address. The standard fine is €240 but this can rise to €325 if it is shown that a student has deliberately failed to communicate a change of address.

What’s more, students will not receive their mail at the right address, cannot vote in the municipality (or province) where they actually live and risk problems with the surcharges they receive. Another issue is that the Ministry of Housing cannot assess the demand for housing properly. The number of students living at home is probably lower than the figures from Statistics Netherlands would suggest.


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