From next term onwards, LU Accommodation will lower the rent of some of its rooms during the spring semester. In this way, the room agency for mainly international students hopes to convince students to stay in their rooms for the entire year.
Exact amounts are not yet available, but an apartment that costs 4500 SEK per months normally, would possibly be rented out for 3500 SEK by LU Accommodation during the spring term.
“This is a way of attracting people into staying longer in these rooms. For us it is better that someone lives there, even if we receive less money for it,” Sara van Lunteren, head of LU Accommodation, says.
The housing office has trouble to keep all rooms filled in the course of the year; a problem which they also hope to fight by taking up a longer notice period in their contracts.
Another way in which LU Accommodation tries to increase the capacity utilization of the rooms, is by allowing Swedish students to live in an international house. However, this does not make a big difference.
“Most Swedish students have already found a room during the spring semester and they only want a long-term contract, which we cannot give them. Moreover, we rent out furnished rooms and Swedish students often take furniture with them,” Sara van Lunteren explains.
Until now, students that want to stay a few weeks longer during the summer are told that this is impossible. Even if they would gladly pay for it, students that don’t pay tuition fee have to leave their room by June 10th, as the summer is needed for cleaning and repairing the rooms.
Sara van Lunteren admits that this is not a desirable situation.
“We are going through our routines right now and hope to have a faster procedure by next summer. Then students could stay until mid-July, if they wanted to. We would also offer them a special rate, maybe fifty percent of the normal rent.”