International Students are treated unfair in the Dutch housing market
Press release by LSVb - Thursday 24th of May 2018 (see original article in Dutch here)
According the report of the Landelijke Studentenvakbond (LSVb), do International students often have questions about how to find a room or their rights as a tenant. This leads to situation in which international students are forced to sleep in hostels and they are extra vulnerable to abuse by landlords. President of the LSVb, Tariq Sewbaransigh: "International students currently receive too little information on how to find affordable housing in the Netherlands. We hope that Higher Education Institutes will work on the information provision for the next academic year".
Lack of Information
79 out of the 94 reaction on the Housing Hotline indicate not to be aware of where to look for a room or how the Dutch laws around housing work. The result of this is that International students often believe the incorrect information given by their landlord. Therefore landlords ask for extra money for key deposit, administrative costs or higher rents than are allowed. Only a couple of universities and cities have services for those student to ask questions or help with complaints.
Intimitation, discimination and accessability
Next to the lack of information, international students don't have a solid foundation in the Netherlands to go back to, like parents or family. This makes them vulnerable for threats and intimitation of landlords. Besides this vulnerability, is the accessibility toward the market also a problem. Student rooms are often advertised with the mentioning of 'No Internationals' or 'Dutch only'
Shortage of Student Accomodation
The basis for all these problems can be traced back to the big shortage of student rooms. Sewbaransigh: "For almost every student it's hard to find a room, but for international student is it even harder. We think it's irresponsible of Higher Education Institutes to focus on recruiting international students, while there is a big shortage of affordable accomodation."
In juli 2017 the LSVb and the Erasmus Student Network The Netherlands has launched the Housing Hotline. The Housing Hotline aims to help international students with their questions and complaints about their housing situation in the Netherlands. The Housing Hotline Report (see below) is an analyses of all the reacting to this hotline.