Student - October 19, 2019

Phantom students cost the municipality money

Coretta Jongeling

Wageningen municipality probably misses out on thousands of euros because of phantom students: students who are living here but have not registered with the municipality.

Photo: Joris Schaap Text: Coretta Jongeling

The town gets a contribution from central government for every student who registers as a resident. According to Wageningen spokesperson Tjitske Zwerver, this is about 2500 euros per student per year. However, many students do not take the trouble to register because since the basic grant was scrapped, doing so no longer brings them any extra money. What is more, some students prefer to stay under the radar – those who are living together or sub-renting illegally, for example.

Not registered at the municipality? A 325-euro fine!

The municipality doesn’t know exactly how many phantom students there are in Wageningen. ‘About 730 houses are empty on paper, including a lot of addresses on the Haarweg and the Bornsesteeg,’ says Zwerver. Those addresses are now going to be monitored regularly. Students who are not registered will be fined up to 325 euros. Connect proposed earlier that students should be rewarded for registering. But the municipality first wants to see if the registration level can be raised through a campaign on social media.


Re:actions 6

  • Registration is easy

    Registration at the municipality is compulsory for anyone living in Wageningen for more than 4 months. It is very easy. Follow the guidelines ( The Town Hall is only 10 minutes cycling from Campus. An appointment is easily made (, or free entrance on Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon. If you choose not to register because of illegal renting, you may be committing a criminal offence. About one month before departing from the Netherlands, one needs to de-register again at the Town Hall. Both registration and de-registration are free of charge.

    • How to register when we live in the street

      How to register when we live in the street?

      Easy to say. If one has a place where it is allowed to register, he will register. There is simply no place to rent in Wageningen. The university is constantly accepting more students to make more money, while the city is very small and has no accommodation to offer. You can look for months for a basic studio.

      Nobody likes to rent what you call 'illegal renting', but there is no choice. It's illegal renting or living in the street. But the municipality doesn't care about that, because they only care whether they get the money for the registered students.

      'Criminal offence': it's so sad you have nothing else to say to people living at a friend's couch, in a tent or in a car. So human. And all this for the money again. Wageningen, definitively a place to avoid.

    • Registration is easy

      Dear 'How to register when we live in the street', your last sentence sums it all up perfectly. Please, by all means: do avoid to live in Wageningen, if you feel it is all about the municipality caring only for money. Clearly this is not the town you will be happy then. And there is more space then for positive people. People who realize that one cannot demand housing to be available on the spot. For example, did you know many non-students are on the waiting list for housing for more than 5 years - more than study time in Wageningen? By the way, as stated in the article, quite a few students renting legally do not bother to register.
      So stop whining, take action and (temporarily) rent a room in Ede or Renkum, accept that you will have some months living a little bit further away from Campus until Idealis or others have this wonderful room in Wageningen available.

    • who cares about registration

      'Then there is more space for positive people'
      'People who realize that one cannot demand housing to be available on the spot'
      'stop whining'

      I just hope you end up living in the street and see if you would be whining, and someone telling you to leave the city to make space for positive people because you are not happy about it.

      For your information, you can spend several months in a car or at a friend's couch in Wageningen (or around). But you seem not aware of the situation and only thinking in terms of 'rules->money'. What a disconnection against the reality.

  • samy

    The registration is a pain for many students. You cannot find a place to live in Wageningen and even if you find one you should be able to register there, which is not always possible. But always in the netherlands, this is all about money, the rest is not so important.

  • Stevie

    This is outrageous! In the past few years I have put up people in my house and I allowed them to register themselves. Just to help them. However, when they left it became a problem to get them unregistered. The service provided in the town hall by the civil affairs department was very, very poor. My former subtenants actually went to unregister before they left the country but later on it appeared that they had not been successful. They sent so many email messages from abroad - yes in English! - but to no avail. It even caused problems for me, because the health insurance of one of them was continued but bills were not being paid. I contacted the insurance company but was not able to stop the insurance. Eventually a debt mediator even came to our doorstep. Only when I went to the town hall to complain, the people in the town hall reluctantly promised to take action. Still they stated that I had myself to blame because I had allowed people to register on my address. What do they want now?