The UT knows the students’ complaints, says spokesperson Bertyl Lankhaar. 'We actively send those signals to Camelot and say: make sure you have clear conditions. Initially, one of the requirements was that students had to pay the entire rental period at once.'
For a stay of one year, that would mean a total sum of around 5000 euros, excluding extra costs (Dutch link) and a deposit of 2000 euros. 'We told Camelot that this condition is not reasonable for our target group, the student. Camelot adjusted this requirement. The entire rent does not have to be paid at once anymore.’
Camelot confirms this and more adjusted conditions. At first, only foreign students were eligible for a studio in the Hogekamp building. Now, as of 1 January 2019, Dutch students can also rent a studio. In addition, the so-called short stay contracts are cancelled. The maximum rental time is now set to three years.
‘At the moment, all requirements are clear and the process is going well,’ says Rosalien Martin, communications officer at Camelot. 'We have hired extra recruiters for faster processing of applications and questions from students.'
Camelot still requires tenants to pay 2000 euros upfront, as a security deposit. In addition, monthly rental costs start at 417 euros per month (excluding extra costs). 'All studios are fully furnished and upholstered,’ says Martin. 'In order to guarantee the quality of the studios, we ask for a 2000 euro deposit. In case of improper use of the studios by tenants.’
The rental of studios through Airbnb also raised questions in the Facebook group. Camelot says that the studios are temporarily leased through Airbnb until the building is filled. 'There are a total of 445 studios and we’ve rented out about a quarter of the rooms now,’ says the communication officer. 'We are aware of housing problems for students, therefore Camelot would like to give the option to students to stay in these studios via Airbnb. We have reserved one wing of the Hogekamp for Airbnb rental, but that does not get in the way of the regular rental of the apartments. When the building is close to being filled, we will stop with the Airbnb apartments.’
There are a lot of applications for the studios in the Hogekamp, says Martin. 'But usually paperwork is still in the way of a rapid handling. Think of contracts, payments and a questionnaire to be sure that someone is actually eligible for a studio. Mainly the contact with foreign students takes a lot of time.'
According to spokesperson Lankhaar, the UT does not question the reliability of Camelot for students. 'Camelot is a big housing provider. We regard this as start up problems.'