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Student Union denounces student hotels

Student Union denounces student hotels

THE NETHERLANDS. City councils must force student hotels to comply with tenancy law, according to the Dutch Student Union (LSVb). At present, students who rent rooms in such hotels have no tenancy protection and the hotels reserve the right to enter the rooms at any time.

Student hotels seem to be springing up everywhere: they can already be found in Amsterdam, Groningen, The Hague and Rotterdam, and are in the making in Enschede, Eindhoven and Maastricht. In Maastricht construction began this week on the Eiffel building, which will open its doors in September 2017.

The LSVb has raised questions about this trend. Students who rent such rooms "pay enormous amounts per month but have no protection whatsoever". Union representatives say that students can find themselves out on the street more easily than under regular tenancy agreements. In addition, the managers of student hotels can enter the rooms at any time - under a normal lease this would be considered trespassing.

The organisation behind the student hotels responded yesterday, but only to the LSVb’s criticism of what it sees as high rental prices. The Student Hotel’s statement did not address the more important issue of tenant rights. The Maastricht city council was not yet available for comment.

It was one year ago that the Maastricht city council agreed to the plans for the establishment of the student hotel in the Eiffel building in the Boschstraat. Not everyone was pleased. The main criticism came from the local Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Maastricht People's Party (Maastrichtse Volkspartij), as well as from hotel owners, who fear unfair competition. They feel that the city council is not sticking to its own Hotel Memorandum, which permits only hotels with 'added value' for the city. In the council's view, the student hotel does in fact comply with this policy: "This is a unique concept for Maastricht." The Eiffel building will have 378 rooms, of which a maximum of 98 (on average) may be rented as hotel rooms each year.

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