Here’s our list of 10 easy ways of arranging your housing in the Netherlands including a list of all housing websites in the Netherlands you need to know. 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 definitely possible if you know where to start looking. Read on for a complete list of housing websites in the Netherlands and more tips to get settled in this beautiful country in no time.
Also read the 10 things you need to know before you rent a home in the Netherlands.
1Check common Dutch housing websites
There are reams of housing websites in the Netherlands, which the Dutchies use for their search for affordable apartments. Check for example Pararius, Kamernet, Huurflits, Direct Wonen, Rentslam and Funda. Check the overview of all common housing websites in the Netherlands below.
Shared housing: In the Netherlands, shared accommodation is pretty standard – not only amongst students – and a fantastic opportunity to make friends immediately! The website Kamernet is the most common website for shared housing. It is also the best-known, and therefore your chances might increase. Try multiple options like Facebook groups and consider registering on one of the other websites simultaneously.
It is common to organise group viewings to find a new roomie – This is called hospiteeravond in Dutch. If possible, arrive in the Netherlands on time and stay in one of the temporary solutions listed below, so you have enough time to attend those viewings and visit potential accommodations in person.
Watch out: Unfortunately, scammers on the housing market are taking advantage of your situation. If an offer is too good to be true, it might be. Never pay for an apartment you haven’t seen before. Read more about it in Mathilde’s story.
2Consult housing websites for expats and internationals
There are multiple housing websites in the Netherlands specialising in expat housing. These accommodations usually come with a higher price tag than local solutions. However, competition is lower on expat websites, and the apartments are typically furnished. Try, for instance, Holland2stay for affordable furnished studios. Flats are distributed with a lottery system, and you’ll need a portion of luck.
Other expat housing services, usually operating internationally, are Homelike, XPAT Rentals, Only Expats or HousingAnywhere.
|Pararius||en, nl, de, it, es, fr||Free of charge.|
|Funda||en, nl||Free of charge. Most popular website for buying a house, but 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.|
|Direct Wonen||en, nl||Limited possibilities for free. €10 for two weeks, €15 per month.|
|rentslam||en, nl||Straight forward service. You take out a monthly subscription, which is €29,95 for one month, €39,95 for two months and €49,95 for three months.|
|Huurflits.nl||nl||This website is not that popular (yet) which is why the success rate is slightly higher than on very popular websites. A premium subscription costs €24,95 per month.|
|Holland2stay||en||Specialised in expat housing. A one-time administration fee of €23,50 and a booking fee if you book an accommodation through Holland2stay|
|The Student Hotel||en, de, fr, es, it||The Student Hotel brings together student accommodation, hotel rooms, co-working, meetings and events and offers long-time hotel rooms not only for students. Prices lie around €1000 a month.|
Bear in mind that the competition is higher on free sites. Considering a couple of the reputable paid ones could quickly pay off.
3Try student housing
Student housing associations like SSH, DUWO and ROOM offer short- and long-stay accommodations for (international) students. Additionally, check your university’s website since most offer limited student accommodations for their (international) students. However, waiting lists are usually long, so it’s best to register as soon as you know you’re heading to the Netherlands. Peak times for student housing are in the summer and the beginning of the academic year. If you don’t succeed, consider temporary options and try again later.
4Engage in Facebook groups
If luck doesn’t strike on the housing websites try 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 Find room / roommate in Amsterdam, Appartments Rotterdam, 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 that address your specific nationality, university, the city you’re moving to etc. Examples are International Students in Amsterdam, Erasmus Amsterdam 2021/2022, 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 are already staying in the Netherlands and have time to network and meet people. Also, it is handy when you can pay a visit on short notice and visiting in person also increases your chances as the landlord immediately gets to know you. Besides that, you can judge if the offer is possibly a scam. Therefore, consider temporary solutions for the start; Try websites for holiday homes like Airbnb and Wimdu. Both offer semi-short stay options, sometimes for quite a reasonable price, and Airbnb offers a discount if you rent for a month or more.
(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.
Housesitting could be an excellent temporary solution if you are willing to look after a house, including pets and plants. Housesitting has become more popular in the last couple of years, as it is a win-win situation for the absent house owner and the house sitter. A house sitter is not only taking care of the plants, cats, dogs, and goldfish, but it also increases the risk of break-ins if someone is looking after the house. In return, the house sitter gets a cheap/free place to stay (or start their life in the Netherlands).
The most famous 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.
7Consider subsidised options
The Dutch housing sector divides into the public sector and social housing – Called sociale huur in Dutch. If your income isn’t that high, social housing might be a lucrative alternative to the public sector as you’ll pay a much lower rent. However, specific criteria (link only available in Dutch) are associated with it, e.g. how much you earn and why you live in the particular region. You will likely meet the criteria if you are a student or young professional at the beginning of your career.
How to apply?
Most of the accommodations in the social housing sector belong to housing associations. Your first step would be registering at a housing cooperative in your region. Therefore go to woningcoperaties.nl or check with your municipality. You’ll usually pay around €30 registration fee and another €10 a year for your membership.
Too good to be true?
Social housing is not a quick fix: most cooperatives handle a waiting list (sometimes up to 20 years!), and it usually takes quite some time before it’s your turn. Moreover, the communication around social housing will mostly be in Dutch.
8Engage 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.
9Hire 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.
10Buy a house
Renting accommodation in the Netherlands offers flexibility and is probably more accessible in the short run. However, if you are planning to stay longer or relocate indefinitely, buying a house in the Netherlands is pretty common and an excellent financial investment. But of course, there is a lot to consider. In the Netherlands, you typically buy a house through a real estate agent, so finding one in your region might be a good starting point.