House members shocked: students do not qualify for fixed lease

‘This causes students to hop from temporary lease to temporary lease.’
En alwéér je verhuisdozen inpakken ‘Landlords may offer students a fixed contract, but reality shows they often prefer not to.’ Photo Shutterstock

A year ago, the House of Representatives decided students would be entitled to fixed rental contracts. Minister De Jonge, however, has decided not to obligate this. Members of the House of Representatives were unaware of this change in course. Opposition parties are shocked, and the tenants association (Woonbond) expects practical issues.

Last year, the Fixed Lease Law was adopted by the House of Representatives and the Senate, ensuring tenants have a right to a fixed lease as of 1 July. D66 and the SP proposed an amendment to ensure student rooms were included in this law. However, Minister of Public Housing Hugo de Jonge has now prevented this. He informed parliament one month ago that students would be exempt.

European rules

Initially, only international students were to form an exception, but the minister has now decided this distinction is indefensible, as it is in violation of European regulations.

Members of the House were not aware of this shift in course until it was too late. A “general order in council” is automatically adopted after thirty days. It was only on Wednesday, on the day of the deadline, that SP, the SGP and D66 attempted to stop the change by means of an emergency procedure, which failed to get the required thirty votes in the House.


House member Jan Paternotte (D66) says students are taking the fall. ‘This causes students to hop from temporary lease to temporary lease, with much stress as a result, while all they want is to focus on their studies. What are all the promises the parties that are currently forming a government worth?’

PVV, NSC, VVD, and BBB explicitly opposed an urgent procedure. Other parties failed to respond.

Member of the House of Representatives Sandra Beckerman (SP) calls the situation frustrating and is unhappy that she failed to see this new measure by De Jonge sooner. ‘I did not expect the minister to do this.’


The Woonbond is surprised. ‘We knew the minister wanted to exempt international students, but we had not expected him to take this rigorous action,’ a spokesperson says.

The association fears the measure will have far-reaching consequences. Landlords will seize the opportunity. ‘They can now offer anyone who has enrolled at an education institute a lease for just one or two years. Landlords may offer students a fixed contract, but reality shows they often prefer not to.’

The Woonbond has many questions, such as whether the exception will also apply to part-time students who combine working and studying. And how will the landlord check whether a tenant is enrolled as a student? Will the government supply this information? ‘We see major implementation issues to which the ministry has no solutions yet.’

A spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Housing confirms that the Woonbond’s questions cannot yet be answered.

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