Students are increasingly often given a joint contract for the entire student residence. Landlords do this to bypass the rules and charge higher rental fees for rooms.
Particularly in Amsterdam and Rotterdam students are often on a group contract, research by news platform NOS op 3 shows. There are several variants. Sometimes there’s only one main tenant on the contract, with the others not even officially residing at the address concerned.
Rent assessment committee
Landlords are doing this in an effort to prevent students from calling on the rent assessment committee to help them secure a rent reduction. In principle, group contracts do not fall under the points system municipalities use to keep student room rental fees in check.
The points system allocates a maximum rental fee to every room, depending on such factors as the surface area and facilities. Many landlords think these fees are too low and try to bypass the system.
Challenging the contract
The Dutch Student Union is shocked. President Elisa Weehuizen: “All these unscrupulous landlords care about is how they can squeeze as much money as possible from the student rooms. In so doing, they avoid any kind of responsibility.” The union is informing students on group contracts about their positions and the possible follow-up steps they can take.
Students have the option of challenging a group contract that’s been imposed on them. In practice, things are sometimes different from what it says in the contract, for example when students are transferring the rent directly to the landlord or if the fee per room is fixed.