Students must vacate Pelikaanhof due to renovation
As of September 2023, students who move into Pelikaanhof are given a temporary occupancy agreement of up to two years instead of a standard lease. The reason for this is the renovation work scheduled to take place in the property, which will require all of the approximately 500 residents to have moved out of the building in a few years’ time.
Mark Reid en Else van der Steeg
Monday 22 January 2024
Archive image. Marc de Haan

The renovations were announced in May 2023. Since the building has to be empty to carry out the plans, DUWO estimates that the renovations might not start until 2025 or 2026.
All residents will have to leave the building before then. As a matter of natural attrition, some of the current residents will have graduated before the renovation starts and will have to leave the building because of their campus contract.
In addition, 100 residents were given priority for the new studios at Kolffpad. Here, eighty students under 23 got to rent a studio for approximately 620 euros and twenty students over 23 were able to secure a slightly larger studio for 840 euros. In a letter to the residents, DUWO writes: ‘If you make use of this offer, you will not receive a relocation allowance. [...] Should we receive more than 100 applications, we will allocate on the basis of registration time with ROOM.’
A total of 41 students took up the offer for Kolffpad, says Laurens Cramer, branch director of DUWO Leiden. The offer is no longer available at the moment.
These arrangements only apply to students who were already living at Pelikaanhof before September 2023. All students who move into the student flat between September 2023 and the start of the renovation will be given a temporary occupancy agreement. This means that these tenants are not entitled to rent protection or eviction protection, (relocation) compensation or (offers for) alternative accommodation. Furthermore, residents with a temporary occupancy agreement also agree to ‘minimal maintenance of the leased property’.


Cramer: ‘The building must be empty by the time the renovations start, which is why temporary occupancy agreements are used. We have previously used this arrangement at Flanorpad. The rent for these contracts is lower: tenants pay eighty per cent of the regular price for a room at Peli.’
He continues: ‘This way, we try to stimulate the vacating of the property, but this may well take another two or three years. If there are still students living in the building with an older lease contract by that time, we will look for an alternative solution for them. But the longer we wait, the fewer of them there will be.’
Pelikaanhof will undergo a major overhaul. In addition to general maintenance, the building will be better insulated, the corridor layout will be changed and more communal spaces will be added. There are plans for a gym and common room in the basement. The latter will only happen if the current common room in the Pelibar proves to be a success over the next few years. Furthermore, the possibility of making the building gas-free is being considered.
In 2024 or 2025, ahead of the renovations at Pelikaanhof, the student complex at Rijn en Schiekade will also undergo an overhaul. This building contains 162 rooms. Cramer: ‘The plans for this have not yet been finalised. Next month, we will meet with the residents to discuss the approach. These renovations will be a lot less drastic than those at Pelikaanhof, so there will be no need to vacate the entire building.’