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 a young professional 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 a housing website or another method listed above 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 on the housing websites.
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.