Nowadays the search for a rental apartment in the Netherlands can be difficult, especially when you’re an expat or international student. That’s why we decided to provide some guidelines to help you find your way in the Dutch housing market. On this page you will find all the information you need for a successful search of a rental home in the Netherlands.
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You can find everything you need to know during your search for a rental apartment in the Netherlands on this page. In addition, we have made a guide in which you can find all this information again. Handy if you want to have the information always and everywhere in one document. You can download our guide for free.
- The Dutch housing market
- Where to live in the Netherlands?
- Housing types in the Netherlands
- Renting an unfurnished, upholstered or furnished home?
- Start your search on Huurwoningen.nl
- How to prevent scamming?
The Dutch housing market
The Dutch rental housing market can be divided into two sectors: the social rental sector and the private rental sector. To which sector a home belongs is determined based on the Home Valuation System.
This system awards points to all facilities in a home The total number of points determines the rent. If the rent is lower than the Rent Liberalisation Threshold of € 737,14 (in 2020), the house belongs to the social rental sector, also known as the public sector. If the rent is higher than this limit, the house belongs to the private sector. The public and the private sector both have their own rules and regulations.
The public housing sector / social housing
There are over 3 million rental homes in The Netherlands. 75 percent of these rental homes are part of the public sector. This means that the houses belong to housing associations (woningcorporaties in Dutch). Social housing is often meant for people with lower incomes. The following rules and regulations apply in the public housing sector:
- There is a maximum rental price. The maximum rent is determined based on the Home Valuation System;
- There is a maximum of annual rent increase determined by the Dutch government;
- To be able to apply for social housing, you must register with the right housing association. Different regions have different associations, so pay attention when you’re subscribing;
- You need a housing permit. Most municipalities require a valid and legitimate reason for living in the region. Examples are work, family or school;
- You have to meet the requirements of the specific housing association, such as your level of income and the size of your family.
Renting allowance / Housing allowance
When your income meets the requirements, you might receive renting allowance, also known as rent benefit. This is an allowance that you receive from the Dutch government to help cover your housing costs. You are only entitled to renting allowance if you meet certain conditions. You can find more information about this on the government website (www.government.nl) and apply for the allowance directly.
The private housing sector / private housing
The private housing sector is a more expensive and non-subsidised sector. Looking at the rent and the services provided, both the tenant and the landlord have much more freedom. This is because contracts in this sector have been liberalised.
- There is no maximum rent. If a house belongs to the private sector (the rent on the basis of the Housing Valuation System is higher than €737,14) the rental price can be as high as the landlord, real estate agent or housing association wants to ask;
- There is no maximum of annual rent increase;
- There will be no rent benefit;
- When you have a dispute with your landlord, the Rebt Tribunal (Huurcommissie) will not be at your service. They will assess your rent if you have been living in the property for less than six months.
A very small part of rental properties in the private housing sector belongs to housing associations. Other ways to find a rental home in the private sector are through a real estate agent or private landlord.
Renting through a real estate agent
A large part of the housing supply in the private rental sector is offered by real estate agents. These agents often rent out the homes on behalf of private individuals and real estate investors.
In the Netherlands, real estate agents often focus on a specific city or region. There are several real estate agents active in a city or region with different housing options. Huurwoningen.nl collects all these offers on one website, which makes searching a lot easier.
Renting through a private landlord
There are also landlords who do not outsource the rental to a real estate agent, but keep the entire rental process in their own hands. Huurwoningen.nl offers these landlords the option to advertise their homes on our website. As a result, you will not only find the properties of real estate agents in the Netherlands on Huurwoningen.nl, but also the properties of private landlords. An advantage: most of the landlords only place their house on Huurwoningen.nl, which makes a large part of the properties on our website unique. This increases your chances of finding a new home on Huurwoningen.nl!
Where to live in the Netherlands?
Most people who move to the Netherlands from abroad choose to live in one of the big cities. However, finding a place to rent in the big cities is difficult. Here’s a short list of cities and towns near and with direct and fast connections to the big cities.
Towns/Cities near Rotterdam
Capelle aan den IJssel - Spijkenisse - Ridderkerk - Schiedam - Vlaardingen
Towns/Cities near Amsterdam
Amstelveen - Diemen - Hoofddorp - Purmerend - Zaandam
Towns/Cities near The Hague
Delft - Zoetermeer - Voorburg - Rijswijk - Wassenaar
Towns/Cities near Utrecht
Nieuwegein - IJsselstein - Maarssen - Woerden - Houten
Towns/Cities near Eindhoven
Waalre - Oirschot - Valkenswaard - Helmond - Veldhoven
Housing types in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands there are different types of homes. They all have certain characteristics that are suitable for certain groups. For example, rooms or studios are more suitable for students whereas entire houses are more popular with families.
An apartment is a separate home that is part of a larger building. As a resident of an apartment you always have neighbors below and / or above you. In the big cities, most rental properties are apartments.
Renting an entire house means there are no neighbors below or above you, nor do you share the front entrance. Normally the kitchen and living room are on the ground floor and the bathroom and bedrooms are on the first floor. There are different types of houses in the Netherlands, such as terraced houses, detached houses or semi-detached houses.
A studio is often confused with an apartment or room, but it is actually a combination of both. In principle, a studio is a one-room apartment. The room has a kitchen corner and further functions as a living room and bedroom. The shower and toilet are generally in a separate room. The sleeping corner is usually hidden from view by a partition. A studio is basically intended for occupancy by one person. The low costs of a studio can be a big advantage compared to an apartment or house.
Rooms are often rented by students looking for living space in the city where they are going to study. In the Netherlands, many rooms are located in student houses. A student house is a building in which several rooms are rented out to students. In general, the bathroom, kitchen and possibly living room are shared by the residents. A student room is a space with a lot of functions. The room is a bedroom, living and study room in one. Sometimes there is also a kitchenette.
Renting an unfurnished, upholstered or furnished home?
If you are looking for a rental home, you can choose between unfurnished, upholstered and furnished homes. All types of homes have different characteristics that are suitable for certain situations.
Renting an unfurnished home
An unfurnished house in the Netherlands is a living space with nothing but a concrete floor, bare walls and ceilings. So there is no carpet, lighting, wallpaper, kitchen, bathroom and furniture. The rent of an unfurnished living space is usually lower than the rent of an upholstered or furnished home. Keep in mind that all costs for renovation and furnishing are for your own account. Renting a bare living space is only advisable if you plan to stay in the house for a longer period and therefore benefit from the investment you make.
Renting an upholstered home
If you are staying in the Netherlands for a longer period (for example a year or two), renting an upholstered home is a good option. An upholstered home must have a floor covering, like parquet or laminate flooring. There should also be roller blinds or curtains. The kitchen must have some permanent facilities such as a refrigerator, possibly a dishwasher, a stove, an extractor hood and an oven and / or microwave. The rent of an upholstered home is higher than that of an unfurnished home and lower than that of a furnished home. Furnishing the home will be your own responsibility. The biggest plus of renting an upholstered home is that you can give it a personal twist with your preferred furniture.
Renting a furnished home
If you are staying in the Netherlands for a shorter period (for example a few months), you might not want to purchase a complete set of furniture and furnishings. In this case, renting a furnished home is a good option. If a rental home is rented out as a furnished home, the home must have all the facilities that are available in an upholstered home. In addition to that, the house must be fully furnished and everything needed in the kitchen and bathroom, such as pans, dishes, towels and linens must be available. Basically, all you’ll need are your bags and you’re ready to move! The advantage of renting a furnished home is of course that you do not have to invest time and money in the interior. The disadvantage is that you cannot give the home a personal twist.
Start your search on Huurwoningen.nl
It is our main goal to help you find a rental home in the Netherlands as fast and easy as possible. Huurwoningen.nl collects all available rental homes on one platform, making it easier for you to find exactly what you’re looking for. Here’s how it works:
Start your search today and find your new home in three steps:
Send a message
See something interesting? If you become a premium member, you can easily contact the real estate agent or landlord directly by responding to the property.
Visit your new home
If the property is still available, the real estate agent or landlord could invite you for a viewing. And if all goes well, you might be standing in your new home.
How to prevent scamming?
In theory, all rental properties placed on Huurwoningen.nl are offered by private landlords or real estate agents. The vast majority of these landlords are reliable and provide honest information about the properties. Unfortunately, there will always be a small group of people who abuse the trust we have gained with our visitors.
The safety of our users is of paramount importance at Huurwoningen.nl. Therefore, we personally screen all homes before they are placed on the website. Although we do everything we can to protect the landlords and home seekers, it is important that you as a user are also aware of possible fraud.
What can you do?
When something seems too good to be true, it often is. If a beautiful home comes with a very low rent, we suggest you mind your step. Also:
- Check the photos of the house and see if the description matches the photos;
- Always prepare a lease with the landlord. Furthermore, only pay the deposit after signing the lease. Never pay money before you viewing a property;
- Do not accept anonymous payment methods like Western Union, Airbnb and Moneygram;
- Never give a copy of proof of identity. Only provide details when signing a lease.
What to do if you have been scammed?
It is important that you report this to us as quickly as possible. We will immediately block the landlord’s profile and try our best to find the perpetrator. It is unfortunate that we cannot report this to the police for you. We always advise you to report the internet scam to the police. Please do keep us updated about the declaration.
What about phishing?
Phishing is a form of internet fraud in which scammers abuse personal data. To retrieve this data, scammers lure their victims to a fake website through e-mail or text message. When the victim clicks the link in the e-mail and signs in, the scammer is granted access to all data.
Huurwoningen.nl never asks for personal information through email or text message. If you happen to receive an email or text from us without having changed anything on our website, do not respond or click the link. Please contact us directly to let us know about the e-mail you’ve received.