Argos investigation: 80 percent of student rooms are too expensive

The rent for eight out of ten student rooms advertised on Kamernet is too high. Landlords are charging an average of 146 euros per month too much. The exception is Enschede, where most student tenants are actually better off.

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These findings have come to light thanks to an investigation by radio program Argos. The show’s investigative journalists looked at the ads on the Kamernet website in September and the first week of October.

The maximum rent for student rooms is set by law and determined by criteria such as the size of the room, the number of housemates and the shared facilities. This ‘points system’ is designed to ensure that students are not charged too much rent.

Big cities

Despite these safeguards, Argos found that in Amsterdam and Utrecht in particular it is almost impossible to find a room priced in accordance with the points system: 95 percent of the rooms for rent in these cities are too expensive. Things are not much better in The Hague, Rotterdam and Groningen. There are significant exceedances. In Amsterdam, landlords charge an average of 307 euros too much per month, in Haarlem 218 euros and in Eindhoven 119 euros.

Landlords in Enschede are still sticking to the points system to some degree. There, one in three rooms is too expensive and the average rent for a room is 45 euros below the price permitted under the points system. That makes Enschede an exception among the larger cities. 


The high rents are a reflection of shortages on the housing market. At the beginning of this month it emerged that the shortfall in student accommodation has now risen to around 26,500 dwellings. Today’s students spend an average of 46 percent of their income on rent, 3 percent more than in 2019. Almost half (43 percent) of students who still live with their parents say they are not prepared to move into student accommodation because the rents are too high.

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