Here’s our list of 10 easy ways of arranging your housing in the Netherlands. Good Luck!

Arranging your housing in the Netherlands can be tricky. Especially in bigger cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht or Rotterdam, where vacant apartments are usually scarce. However, finding an apartment in the Netherlands is possible if you know where to start looking.

Also read the 10 things you need to know before you rent a home in the Netherlands.

1Check common housing websites

There are reams of housing websites in the Netherlands, which also the Dutchies use for their search for an affordable apartment. Check for example Pararius, Kamernet, Esteon, Huurflits, Direct Wonen and Funda. We listed all websites in the table below. Bear in mind that the competition is higher on free sites. Considering a couple of the reputable paid ones could quickly pay off.

Watch out: Unfortunately, there are some scammers on the housing market taking advantage of your situation. If an offer is too good to be true, it might be. Never pay for an appartment you haven’t seen before. Read more about it in Mathilde’s story.

For students: Shared housing is pretty common in the Netherlands (not only amongst students btw). Normally your potential roommates-to-be organise a group viewing (hospiteeravond) and invite all possible candidates to choose their next roomie. Make sure you plan enough time to search for a room and attend the group viewings. The website Kamernet is a good website to start looking for a room. However, as Kamernet is the best-known website, there are a lot of reactions for every room, which might increase your chances. Don’t focus on Kamernet only.

2Consult housing websites for expats and internationals

There are multiple housing websites which are specialised in expat housing. Check, for example, XPAT Rentals, Only Expats, Holland2stay, HousingAnywhere, or StuWorld (for students, young professionals and expats).

We created an overview of all common housing websites in the Netherlands:

Pararius en, nl, de, it, es, fr Free of charge
Funda en, nl Free of charge. Funda is the most popular website for buying a house. However, it also offers rental properties.
StuWorld en, nl Free of charge
Kamernet en, nl Most popular website for shared housing, not only for students. €21 for 15 days, €34 per month. Avoid paying too much and cancel the subscription in time.
Esteon en, nl, de, vls Limited search service is available for free. To get all functionalities you’ll need to subscribe. From €8 per month.
Direct Wonen en, nl Limited possibilities for free. €10 for two weeks, €15 per month.
Huurflits.nl nl This website is not that pouplar (yet) which is why the succes rate is slightly higher than on very popular websites. A premium subscription costs €24,95 per month.
Holland2stay en A one-time administration fee of €23,50 and a booking fee if you book an accommodation through Holland2stay
HousingAnywhere en, fr, de, es, it, nl, pt, zh HousingAnywhere is an international website (not only for housing in the Netherlands) and charges a one-time service fee equal to 25% of a single month of rent.
XPAT Rentals en XPAT Rentals is an international website, which offers apartments all over the world. You need to sign up with your email address to get access.
Only Expats en Only Expats is a website which lists apartments specifically chosen for expats. You need to sign up with your email address to get access.

3Try student housing

Student housing associations like SSH and DUWO offer rooms for international students. Also, check the website of your university since most of them offer student housing for their (international) students. However, spots are often limited, and there might be a waiting list. Therefore, it’s best to apply as soon as you know that you’ll be moving to the Netherlands. Be aware, that you might have to pay a fee to use their services.

4Engage in Facebook groups

In the Netherlands, you most possibly find your apartment through your network. Since you don’t have a network in the Netherlands yet, spread the word on social media and spam every Facebook group you can think of. There are multiple facebook groups for housing in every city. Try the search term ‘kamer huren in insert your city’ or ‘appartement huren in insert your city’, join the groups and drop your request. Examples are Huurwoning of kamer huren in Amsterdam, Rooms, Apartments, Houses in AMSTERDAM, Woonruimte Aangeboden / Gezocht (Utrecht), Woonruimte Aangeboden / Gezocht (Eindhoven) and many more.

For students: There are multiple facebook groups especially for students. Search for facebook groups which address your specific nationality, university, the city you’re moving to etc. Examples are International Students in Amsterdam, Erasmus Amsterdam 2019/2020, Woonruimte Aangeboden / Gezocht (Utrecht), Woonruimte Aangeboden / Gezocht (Eindhoven) and many more.

5Consider temporary solutions

It’s s a lot easier to find a place when you already stay in the Netherlands and had some time to network and meet people. It increases your chances when you’re able to visit the place in person as the landlord immediately gets to know you and you’re also able to judge if the offer is possibly a scam. Therefore, consider a temporary solution for the start. Try websites for holiday homes like Airbnb and Wimdu. Both offer semi-short stay options, sometimes for quite a reasonable price.

(Not only) For Students: The Student Hotel or Hotel Casa in Amsterdam (website in Dutch) offer long-time hotel rooms. This is quite an easy solution if you have a higher budget available for the first months.

6Try housesitting

Housesitting could be an excellent temporary solution if you are willing to look after a house, including pets and plants. In the last couple of years, housesitting has become more popular as it is a win-win situation for the absent house owner and the house sitter. During the absence of the house owner, the house sitter is not only taking care of the plants, cats, dogs and the goldfish but also the risk for a break-in is reduced if someone is looking after the house. In return, the house sitter gets a cheap (or free) place to stay for a while (or start his or her life in the Netherlands).

The most popular house sitting site is Trustedhousesitters.com, other websites are Mindmyhouse.com en Housecarers.com. To register on housesitting websites, you usually pay a yearly fee.

Try housesitting

7Consider subsidised options

If your income isn’t that high, you might be entitled to social housing (sociale huur(woning)). For these apartments, you’ll pay a much lower rent than for other flats. To get an apartment through social housing, you need to meet specific criteria (link only available in Dutch), e.g. how much you earn. If you are still a student or at the beginning of your career, you are likely to meet the criteria.

To find a subsidised accommodation you need to register at a housing cooperative in your city. Check woningcoperaties.nl for a housing cooperative in your region or check with your municipality. Usually, you’ll pay around €30 registration fee and another €10 a year for your membership. Please bear in mind that most cooperatives handle a waiting list (sometimes up to 20 years!) and it usually takes quite some time before it’s your turn. Moreover, you must be aware that communication around social housing will mostly be in Dutch.

Tip for Utrecht: If you move to Utrecht, check Jebber. They are specialised ind social housing for starters and young professionals.

8Check if you are entitled to huurtoeslag

If you manage to find a place on your own and the rent is too high in comparison to your income, you might be entitled to rent benefit (huurtoeslag). To be granted this benefit, multiple criteria must be met. Conditions are i.a. your level of income, the amount of rent and whether the apartment you are renting has its own entrance (door). Most housing ads state if the apartment is suitable for rent benefit (Huurtoeslag mogelijk). So it might be clever to include this criterion in your search.

9Engage a real estate agent

If you have a bigger budget at hand, you could also engage a real estate agent (makelaar). However, you don’t necessarily have to engage a real estate agent right away. Most real estate agents offer the possibility to subscribe for a newsletter on their site. You’ ll only pay if you want to react to a suitable vacancy.

There are tons of real estate agents in the Netherlands. It’s best to make a list with the real estates in your area and subscribe for their newsletter. You’ll find out soon enough which offers sound appealing to you and which not. There are also a lot of real estate agents specialized in expat housing, however, keep in mind that they tend to be a bit more expensive.

10Hire a rental housing agency

Renting through an agency is probably one of the easiest solutions if you are looking for a place to stay in the Netherlands. However, it is probably also the most expensive one. If you have broader budget to spend on your housing, check the pretty complete list of Dutch rental agencies on Iamexpat.nl.