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UPDATE 20-01-2015

The city council approved the new policy, with 1 minor change. We updated this dossier to the newest available information.

 A short summary:

The municipality has adopted new policy to legalise all student houses in Wageningen. This way there will be more flexibility in real-estate, the municipality can provide bike racks and students will have better protection against slum landlords.
This however means that the landlord of your house needs to apply for permits. These permits can be withheld by the municipality if you don’t meet the requirements, for example if your house is a nuisance to your neighbourhood. See the rest of this dossier to see what you need to do.

UPDATE 02-12-2014

The city council didn’t vote, because of some minor technicality. The voting is postponed to 12-01-2015.


Earlier this year the city council approved a motion of de Stadspartij, with an amendment of D66, to do something about the status of all student houses in Wageningen. Officially many of the student houses are illegal, because according to the municipality’s land use planning *words in italic explained below* all areas where students live are zoned as ‘residential’. In residential areas only 1 household per house is allowed and due to a judicial decision 1 student counts as 1 household.  
The mayor and aldermen (M&A) have presented their plans to legalise student houses. Technically the plans are to legalise renting out rooms, so also to, for example, the elderly. Students are, however, by far the biggest users of ‘room renting’.

Basically, M&A will grant permits that will allow the owner of the house to deviate from the land use planning. These permits must be requested at the municipality by the owner or main tenant and will only be granted if certain conditions are met. This means that if the conditions are not met, for example if a student house received to many noise complaints, the municipality can hold out on the permit. This student house will remain illegal and can get in trouble with the police and neighbourhood or even get evicted.

The focus of M&A is to provide clarity to the citizens and future student houses, the rules should become clearer and all houses will have to meet the same (legally required) standards. However, all existing houses will have to apply as if they are new.


In the new plans a distinction has been made between three different kinds of ‘room renting situations’. The first one is the landlady, the second one are houses above shops and restaurants and the third are entire houses or apartments rented out as separate rooms.  

In the scheme below (Scheme 1) you can see what category your house belongs to and what kind of permits the owner of your house requires.

Scheme 1

*As said in scheme 1, the criteria for the neighbourhood permit when letting the entire house or apartment are stricter than in the other two situations.

This is because, according to the municipality, entire houses will produce more nuisance than ‘normal’ houses.  
The municipality will test the permit application on the aspects of the quality of life of the street/neighbourhood and on the aesthetic appearance of the house.

The permits will only be granted if the house owner meets all criteria as described in Scheme 2.

Scheme 2

Aesthetic appearance

The aesthetic appearance clause ensures that the house will not become a mess, with garbage on the lawn and bicycles everywhere. The aesthetic appearance makes sure that the street looks uniform and has a clean look.

Quality of life

The quality of life is tested by checking whether the student house is likely to produce nuisance for the rest of the neighbourhood. 3 points of interest are taken into account by the municipality:

1. The advice that the police, housing association and neighbourhood association Solidez provide.

2. Parking standard,  whether there are enough parking spaces nearby.

3. National guidelines for bicycle parking spots.

All in all, this new policy of the municipality improves the legal position of student houses. It will become impossible for a house owner to extort students by increasing the rent excessively. Also, the municipality will be able to provide enough parking spaces and bicycle racks. Lastly, the existence of one clear policy will make sure that everybody will have the same chance for starting new houses.
However, it may become easier for the municipality to ‘get rid of’ annoying students by withholding permits.
1 December the city council will vote on this policy. VeSte will be there to ensure the students will be heard!

Words in italic explained in Dutch

Land use planning = bestemmingsplan
Mayor and aldermen = Het College van Burgemeester en wethouders (B&W)
Municipality = gemeente
Landlady = Hospita
Outlying areas = buitengebied
Neighbourhood permit = omgevingsvergunning
Retraction permit = Onttrekkingsvergunning
Message of usage = Gebruiksmelding
Residential zoning = Woonfunctie in bestemmingsplan
Industrial building = gebouw met bedrijfsfunctie

Dossier legalizing Student housing in Wageningen