'Enough is enough'

A former TU Delft student has been told by a judge that he has overstayed his welcome after 28 years of living in a student house. Student housing company DUWO applauded the decision as they pursue multiple similar legal actions.

As stated in court documents, the unnamed defendant studied at TU Delft from 1983 to 1989. In his final year he was issued a rental contract of indefinite term by Stichting Delftse Studenten Huisvesting (SDSH), the predecessor of DUWO. In his defence, he argued that the house was not exclusively for students at that time and that the contract did not explicitly state that it was. The judge, however, ruled that he could and should have understood that it was a student residence. The defendant has been ordered to move out of the residence by June 1, 2017.

Nine similar cases

According to the director of the Delft DUWO office, Michiel Ensink, they currently have nine similar cases going to trial. "A couple of years back we knew we had some very old ex-students living in our complexes so we thought it's about time we try to persuade these people to move on," he said. "Our housing is 100% for students and if you're not studying any more you need to leave. Enough is enough."

No campus contract

So how does a situation like this slip through the cracks for so long? DUWO's lawyer Tom Nieuwenhuijsen (ngnb advocaten) explained that in all of the instances tenants held a "regular" lease agreement which is more difficult to terminate than the current "campus contract" which was implemented about ten years ago.

Under the new contracts students are obliged to leave within six months of graduation or completion of studies. They are also responsible for showing evidence that they are still studying in order to be eligible to rent or continue renting through DUWO.

Housing shortage

The legal fight for DUWO was, in part, driven by a significant lack of student housing in recent years. Ensink noted that each year they make a yearly prognosis for housing needs together with TU Delft. As they see it today, the shortage is about 1,500 rooms for this year.

When asked about the other cases going to trial, Ensink said, "Will we win all nine? I don't know but I think we stand a very good chance." Going forward, both Ensink and Nieuwenhuijsen feel confident that the "campus contract" they currently use will prevent cases like this from happening in the future.

Delta was unable to reach the student in question. If you or someone you know is going through a similar dispute with DUWO, please contact us at delta@tudelft.nl.