Figures from student housing provider Idealis show a higher number of cancelled contracts this spring than last year. Students are moving back in with their parents.
In the first quarter of 2020, 677 contracts were terminated at Idealis: 173 more than in the same period in 2019 (504). In the second quarter of 2019, a total of 583 tenancies were ended; in 2020, the score is 463 just one week into the quarter.
Idealis spokesperson Hellen Albers: ‘When they terminate their contract, students don’t say why, so we can only go by the figures. But it is quite clear they are going up, so the coronavirus is definitely having an impact.’
But the allocation of rooms continues through Room.nl, says Albers. ‘If students plan an evening for prospective new housemates to visit, we advise them to do it online. Anyway, we are already noticing that there is less response to what we have on offer; there are more rooms empty at the moment than last year.’
Student Rijk Dersjant is going to give up his room. ‘I was living with four housemates. We had different ideas about how we should deal with the crisis. Some of them couldn’t imagine not having any more contact with other people, so we agreed that we shouldn’t have different groups of friends at the house at the same time, and that a maximum of two people could visit at one time. Personally I didn’t think that was strict enough, but it is within the rules and I can’t decide for my housemates how they should live. So I decided to go and stay with my parents in Culemborg.’
Once in Culemborg, Dersjant realized he didn’t actually need to be in Wageningen again. ‘Periods five and six are both entirely online. After that I’m going to do my Master’s in Maastricht. I have almost definitely got somewhere to live there. As soon as that’s confirmed, I shall give up my room in Wageningen.’
It feels weird to Dersjant that the coronavirus crisis has ended his time in Wageningen so prematurely. ‘It is very strange. A lot of people I interacted with daily, I won’t see again for a while. Once all the measures are withdrawn, I am going to give a nice party. And I haven’t left Wageningen completely, as I’m going to do a combined Master’s: Human Movement Sciences at Maastricht and Nutrition & Health in Wageningen.’
Student Rijk Dersjant is at his parents’ house for the time being, and plans to give up his room.