Finding student housing in The Netherlands

As an international student looking to study in The Netherlands, finding suitable student housing can be a daunting task. The Netherlands is a popular destination for international students, and with the increasing demand for housing, it has become increasingly difficult to find affordable accommodation. Here we will provide you with useful tips and information to help you find housing as an international student in The Netherlands!

Why it is difficult to find housing in The Netherlands at the moment?

The Netherlands is a densely populated country, and there is a high demand for housing. This is especially true in major cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and The Hague, where most universities are located. The demand for housing is not only from international students but also from Dutch students and expats. The housing shortage in The Netherlands is partly due to the country’s strict spatial planning policy, which limits the amount of land available for housing development.

Another factor that contributes to the housing shortage is the short-term rental market. With the rise of online platforms such as Airbnb, many homeowners have chosen to rent out their properties to tourists instead of long-term tenants. This has reduced the availability of long-term rental properties and increased the competition for affordable housing.

Where do students live in The Netherlands?

The most popular housing option for students in The Netherlands is shared accommodation, which typically involves renting a room in a shared apartment or house. This is a cost-effective way to live in a desirable location while still having access to the amenities of a larger living space. Many universities in The Netherlands also have their own student housing facilities, which can provide a secure and convenient option for international students.
In addition, some students choose to live in student dormitories or residences, which are purpose-built buildings that offer a range of amenities and services for students. These buildings are often located on or near university campuses and can provide a safe and social environment for students.

How can your university help you find housing?

Most universities in The Netherlands have a housing office that can assist international students with finding suitable accommodation. These offices can provide advice on the best areas to live in, the types of accommodation available, and how to navigate the Dutch rental market.
In addition, some universities have their own student housing facilities, which can provide a secure and convenient option for international students. These facilities are often in high demand, so it’s important to apply early and follow the application process carefully.

Where to find housing online?

There are several online platforms that can be used to find housing in The Netherlands. Some of the most popular platforms include:

  • Facebook groups: There are many Facebook groups dedicated to finding housing in The Netherlands. These groups are often region-specific and can be a great way to find accommodation in a particular area. Some popular groups include Amsterdam Housing, Rotterdam Housing, and Utrecht Housing.

  • Pararius: Pararius is a platform that specialises in rental properties, including apartments, studios, and houses. It allows you to search for properties by location, price, and other criteria. You can also create a profile and message potential landlords directly through the platform.

  • HousingAnywhere: HousingAnywhere is an international platform that connects students with landlords who have rooms available for rent. It allows you to search for properties by

location, price, and other criteria. You can also create a profile and message potential

landlords directly through the platform.
• Kamernet: Kamernet is the largest online platform for finding shared accommodation in

The Netherlands. It allows you to search for rooms and apartments by location, price, and other criteria. You can also create a profile and message potential landlords directly through the platform. Be aware that creating such an account will cost money.

How to avoid scammers while searching for a place to live?

Unfortunately, there are scammers who prey on international students looking for housing in The Netherlands. To avoid being scammed, it’s important to follow these tips:

  • Never wire money: Never wire money to someone you have not met in person or who claims to be overseas. This is a common tactic used by scammers to obtain money without providing any housing.

  • Check the landlord’s identity: Before signing any rental agreement, it’s important to verify the landlord’s identity. You can check the landlord’s registration number with the Chamber of Commerce (KVK) ensure that they are a legitimate business.

  • Visit the property: Always visit the property before signing any rental agreement. This will help you to ensure that the property is in good condition and that it meets your needs.

  • Be cautious of unrealistic offers: If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of landlords who offer extremely low rent or who promise to rent a property without any references or background checks.

  • Use reputable platforms: When searching for housing online, it’s important to use reputable platforms that have security measures in place to protect users from scams. Always verify the platform’s reputation before creating a profile or sending any messages.

    What to do if you cannot seem to find housing?

    If you’re having trouble finding housing in The Netherlands, there are several options available:

  • Contact your university’s housing office: Your university’s housing office may be able to

    provide additional resources or advice on finding housing. They may also be able to

    connect you with other international students who are also looking for housing.

  • Consider alternative housing options: If shared accommodation or student housing is not

    available, consider alternative housing options such as homestays or short-term rentals. These options may be more expensive, but they can provide a temporary solution while you search for long-term housing.

  • Expand your search area: If you’re having trouble finding housing in a specific area, consider expanding your search area to include nearby neighbourhoods or suburbs. This can increase the number of available properties and may lead to more affordable options.

Be flexible: When searching for housing, it’s essential to be flexible and open to different options. Consider living in a smaller apartment or sharing a room with a roommate to save money on rent.

What your landlord can and cannot do while you are renting a room.

As a tenant in The Netherlands, you have certain rights and protections under Dutch law. It’s important to understand your rights and the responsibilities of your landlord. Here are some things that your landlord can and cannot do while you are renting a room in The Netherlands:

  • Security deposit: Your landlord can ask for a security deposit, which is typically one or two months’ rent. The security deposit is meant to cover any damages or unpaid rent at the end of your tenancy. Your landlord must return your security deposit within one month after the end of your tenancy, minus any deductions.

  • Rent increase: Your landlord can increase the rent but only once per year and only by a certain percentage (as determined by Dutch law). Your landlord must provide written notice of the rent increase at least three months before the new rent takes effect.

  • Maintenance and repairs: Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the property and making necessary repairs. If you notice any issues with the property, such as a leaky faucet or a broken window, you should inform your landlord immediately.

  • Entry into the property: Your landlord can only enter the property with your permission, and they must give you at least 24 hours’ notice before entering. The only exception to this rule is in case of an emergency.

  • Termination of tenancy: Your landlord can only terminate your tenancy under certain circumstances, such as non-payment of rent or serious breaches of the rental agreement. Your landlord must provide written notice of termination and give you a certain amount of time to vacate the property (as determined by Dutch law).

    When renting a room or apartment in The Netherlands as an international student, you will typically need the following documents:

  • Passport or ID card: You will need to provide a copy of your passport or ID card as proof of your identity.

  • Proof of income: Landlords will typically require proof of your income or financial support to ensure that you can afford the rent. This can include bank statements or a letter from your parents or sponsor stating that they will provide financial support.

  • Proof of enrolment: Landlords may ask for proof of enrolment at your university or educational institution to verify that you are a student.

  • Rental history: If you have rented before, landlords may ask for a rental history to verify that you have a good track record as a tenant.

  • Employment contract: If you are employed in The Netherlands, your landlord may ask for a copy of your employment contract as proof of your income and employment status.

Residence permit: If you are a non-EU/EEA student, you must provide a copy of your residence permit as proof of your legal status in The Netherlands.

It’s important to note that the specific documents required may vary depending on the landlord and the rental agreement. It’s a good idea to ask the landlord or rental agency for a list of required documents before you begin your housing search. It’s also a good idea to have all of your documents translated into Dutch or English if they are in another language.

To conclude:

Finding suitable housing as an international student in The Netherlands can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With a bit of research, flexibility, and caution, you can find a safe and comfortable place to live while you study abroad.
Remember to start your housing search early, use reputable platforms and resources, and be cautious of scammers. It’s also important to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant under Dutch law.

If you’re still having trouble finding housing, don’t hesitate to reach out to your university’s housing office or consider alternative housing options. With persistence and a bit of luck, you’ll be able to find the perfect place to call home during your time in The Netherlands.

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