There is a severe shortage of housing, and international students have also been affected. The hotline run by the Dutch Student Union (LSVb) received 658 requests for help in the last year and a half, the union says in a brief report.
The most common complaint is that the students cannot find accommodation. Sometimes they seem to have no prospects at all on the housing market. They get no reply when they answer an advertisement or the ad text explicitly states ‘no internationals’.
Unscrupulous landlords are abusing the situation, says union chair Ama Boahene. They ask too much rent and sometimes refuse to carry out repairs. They even issue threats of eviction if their tenants blow the whistle.
The worst-case scenario is that students looking for accommodation are simply conned, sometimes paying money to view a room that does not even exist.
The union has interviewed four students in greater depth about their experiences. They are astonished that their educational institution cannot help them and does not provide rooms for international students.
The numbers announced by the LSVb relate to the eighteen months up to 25 August 2021, which includes the start of only one academic year. Many new complaints were received in September, but these will be included in next year’s report.
Incidentally, the hotline is not a phone number. Instead, students can fill in a Google form and LSVb staff then give advice.