The Hague & Partners/Jurjen Drenth - studenten aan en tafel buiten

Foreign students squeezed for money by university and housing corporation


Recently, we have heard from foreign students (studying at Leiden University in The Hague) that after two years of campus housing, they are required to vacate their rooms, even if their studies last for 3 years. They are then left responsible for finding alternative housing in The Hague. Tim de Boer states, “Due to the strict deadline without the possibility of extension, DUWO and Leiden University are leaving these students in great uncertainty in a housing market where landlords see foreign students as easy prey. They often face excessively high rents or poor-quality housing.” Further investigation revealed more unreasonable conditions such as having to pay a “reservation fee” of €285, being unable to terminate the contract prematurely, and other costs that are not allowed by law. Fatima Faïd adds, “Universities love foreign students because of the higher tuition fees they can charge for this group. Now, a social housing corporation seems to be profiting from this as well. It’s outrageous how these students are being exploited!”

Tim de Boer continues, “The standard lease contract undermines certain legal agreements, eliminating the so-called benefits of a temporary contract, such as early termination, while retaining the disadvantages of its temporariness. Additionally, there are clauses that are not in line with the law and are therefore void and invalid.” “It’s scandalous that a social housing provider drafts contracts that knowingly do not comply with legislation. Based on the Good Landlord Act, the municipality should take action against this.”

Dutch translation here:

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Written questions: Exploitation of Foreign Students

Date: March 27, 2024

To the Chair of the Municipal Council,

The Hague City Party has learned that Leiden University, in collaboration with the housing corporation DUWO, only offers foreign students enrolled in the three-year master’s program a temporary contract for a room for two years. Students cannot terminate the contract in between. Additionally, fees are being charged which, according to court rulings, are not permissible.

In accordance with art. 30 of the Rules of Procedure, councilor Fatima Faïd of The Hague City Party submits the following questions: