Rent a House

Renting an apartment in the Netherlands

For Rent: Find a rental apartment in the Netherlands?

Finding in a room or an apartment to rent (te huur) can be tricky. the housing market is peaking right now and it can be difficult to find a property to rent. Of course, nothing is impossible. I will guide you through my tips and tricks:

Short term rent the Netherlands

It is often easier to rent a room or apartment for a short term when you are new in a city. Subletting an apartment from somebody who goes travelling or just moved abroad. There are several groups on Facebook (sometimes they offer long term rent as well) in which rental apartments are offered. Go to Facebook: type in the search bar apartment and the city you are looking at and start your search.

It is worth bearing in mind that it’s likely that, if you rent an apartment for a short period you won’t be able to register.

If your company provides you with a relocation package they often offer you housing as well. An apartment (eg. via Airbnb) can be offered for a certain time period. If your company (or if you are coming to the Netherlands to study) does not offer this, renting an apartment via The Student Hotel might be a good option too.

When you are staying somewhere for a shorter period of time you have some time to discover your new city and the different neighbourhoods so that you can discover what is the best option for you to live (according to your budget and requirements).

Long term rent the Netherlands

There are several ways to get rent a room or an apartment for a longer period of time, I have described them below:

1.Social housing

This option is a viable option if you have a Dutch partner who is applying for the social housing scheme or is subletting the apartment to another person for a short period of time. If you are planning to move in with a tenant of the social housing scheme, you would need to approach the housing commission and acquire a letter of permission. You can only qualify for social housing if you earn less than €38.035 a year.

2. Private rental market

Although this is a very limited market, accounting for only 5-10% of all the houses rented in Amsterdam, this can be an ideal choice for you if you are not worried about having to pay higher than market rates as rent. You can often find these apartments via Facebook (as described above). 

3. Real estate agents

If you are looking for a real estate agent which can help you I can really recommend DirectWonen it is user-friendly websites (in English), which helps you with your search.

4. Renting a room

If you are on a budget or want to live with people (to make new friends), you can visit Kamerstunt to find a suitable room.

5. Friends or friends of friends

Especially in the bigger cities, it can be tricky to find an apartment which fits your budget in the neighbourhood you like. Tell your friends that you are looking for an apartment and ask them to share it with their friends. Making a Facebook post and ask your friends to share it might help as well. Feel free to even just ask me, if I know of anything I’ll always try to help.

Things you should know about renting apartments in the Netherlands

Property descriptions

When you are going to rent a room or apartment it is important that you pay attention to what you are actually renting. You can rent:

  • Unfurnished (kaal) - this means that the property doesn't have any, carpet, light fittings etc. They do have things like a kitchen and bathroom
  • Partly furnished (gestoffeerd) - which means that there are curtains and for instance carpet. This is still very basic.
  • Furnished (gemeubileerd) - this means that there will be a bed a wardrobe etc. It is always good to check what this includes exactly.


Antikraak, also known as anti-squatting. You can rent a room of a house or building for a short-term tenancy at a very cheap rent. The amenities that are available in such properties are usually very basic and your tenancy can end in an abrupt manner when the building or apartment gets sold. It is often difficult as an expat to be able to live in this kind of properties (especially in the cities), but not impossible. Especially not if it is through friends (or friends of friends). 

Rental agreements in the Netherlands

It is important that you always have a written tenancy contract or rental agreement. Most tenancy contracts are for a period of 12 months, with a notice period of one month in case you or your landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy. It is usually very hard for your landlord to be able to 'get rid of you' and he would be required to have a court mandate and valid reason for doing so. However, if you feel that your stay in the Netherlands might come to an unexpected end owing to some kind of emergency or you having to go back to your home country, adding a break clause to the tenancy agreement at the very beginning would be a wise choice.  

When you get your lease agreement check, whether it shows the basic rent, also known as the net rent (netto huur). It's also wise to check whether any other additional costs or service costs have been properly detailed. It is required by your landlord to show you the final annual account of utility payments, if you have had to pay for them, at least once every year.

In the Netherlands, it is illegal to charge you a fee for something, without providing something in return, and any kind of overpayment should be refunded back to you. However certain landlords charge an extra fee or deposit, for instance, a deposit (1 or 2 months rent) and a key deposit (sleutelgeld). 

Also, check if you can register (for your BSN) at this address.

Welkom thuis! (Welcome home!)

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