This is a review that should help new (and old) students in Groningen find a place to live. We cannot guarantee that the agencies in this list are per se “bad,” but we list those that were predominately mentioned in negative reviews/reports from students. We cannot guarantee that all this happens, so do not use this as “proof” or “evidence” Please also remember that it is often unclear if the landlord or the agent is the wrongdoer, or if the whole problem is rather (and more likely) a structure of our economic system. We hope to improve both, the process of finding accommodations, and the work of the agencies.
Dear agencies who are on this list: If you are on this list, there is a reason. Please stop exploiting desperate students.
Alright students of Groningen. We all know at least one person who has made pretty bad experiences with his/her landlord or agent here in Groningen. Overpriced rents are nothing new, and in most cases we can’t do much against it. Of course, we can contact the huurcommissie and hope to get the rent lowered, but even a court rule does not give you your money back easily. To help (new) students find a good landlord/agent we created this list of agencies and landlords to stay away from. (This list is based on reviews from students that we received. Obviously, we will not publish any of the student names that contributed to the list)
1. General Information for internationals:
No agent is allowed to ask you for 1 month rent as agent’s fee. The landlord has to pay the agent, unless you go to the agent yourself and ask for help. In those cases students will be asked to pay a fee (for the contract etc), but it should NEVER be a whole month rent. Sadly, many agents trick you into signing a contract that states that the agent works for you. This is another grey zone, but it is up to us students to increase the pressure on the agents and let them know that we won’t tolerate this. Make your voice heard!
2. Watch out for scammers.
Scammers will try to trick you to make a payment before you have seen the place. If you get messages similar to this stay away from them.
“I am out of town to take care of my grandchild and I will be away for a period of time…so i just decided some few days back to rent out the place since I will be staying for a period of time and it would not be nice to leave the rooms empty..so it is not my intention to have the keys here with me so right now it will be impossible for viewing but if you are really interested you can book it and once payment is confirmed, I will ship the keys to you in just a day.”
Never pay anything before you signed a contract and have seen the place!
3. The List: Rental Agencies we advise you to stay away from
Bakker, Robert (Bakker Kamerbemiddeling/Bakkerhuuradvies)
– Way overpriced rents
– Friendly first, intimidating later
– Dangerous if you contact the Huurcommissie (Dutch agency that helps you lower your rent)
– We heard of a case where a tenant asked for his deposit and Bakker told the tenant that he has to contact the landlord for that. The landlord then refused to reply.
This one changes his name a lot. He also changes his address a lot. Watch out for this guy! We advise you to never sign a contract with him or his landlords.
The agent seems nice and friendly when you sign the contract, but we heard reports that he suddenly stood in front of student’s doors and threatened them because they tried to fight for their rights.
(This agency is located in Slochteren but they do rent places in Groningen. Sometimes through other agencies)
– We received one negative report in which a tenant had troubles after contacting the Huurcommissie to lower the rent.
– Threats, and illegal methods to remove the tenant from the accommodation
– Too high prices
We received one negative report.
– Errors in contract that lead to a financial disadvantage later.
– We received a report stating that they illegally charge international students one month rent as agent’s fee.
– Other students reported that K&P tried to charge them illegally before signing any contract.
We received mixed reports about Maxx. We heard cases of tenants that had no problems with them, but we also heard stories of people that had problems with Maxx. Advice: Only consider them if nothing looks like it would need maintenance for the time that you will live there. Otherwise stay away.
– you will have to pay a fee to apply for a room
– overpriced rents
– hard to reach
– very likely to increase your rent yearly
– not known to be very reactive to service demands (if something is broken etc)
We received report about issues with fees.
– one case reported about intimidation due to legal actions
We received mixed reports about SSG.
– Overpriced rents
– Bad services (maintenance, problems with mice etc)
– Bad support if you have problems with neighbors (reported once)
Advice: Only consider them if nothing looks like it would need maintenance for the time that you will live there. Otherwise stay away.
- report of use of violence after attempted lowering of the rent.
We received a negative report about this agency. The reports contained these reasons:
– Unauthorized trespassing
– Hidden contract costs
– Changing locks
Other relevant articles:
Sikkom (in Dutch): Groningse Studente Op de Vlucht Voor Huurbaas
3. Student houses that were mentioned in a lot of negative reports (usually because of bad service/ dirty environments)
– Disconessenhuis (SSH Houses) – Van Ketwich Verschuurlaan 82
Here are some agencies that are known to work within the legal limits:
– 123wonen (they expressively work for the agent. This means that most houses/rooms you’ll find on their website will not cost you illegal fees)
If you’re scared now let me calm your mind: read why Groningen is a Heaven For Students
If you like to stay updated on my upcoming novel (which takes much inspiration from my life in Groningen) The Blackbird’s Tale : A Schizophrenic Fable then please follow this blog here on wordpress, and Facebook, and if you like to listen to the audio-book version of my book (including music that I have composed) please press follow my SOUNDCLOUD
(The list will be updated if we receive more reports – please contact us via the Make Contact button if you wish to send in a report)