Hello Going Expat people!

Here we go today to talk about one of the most controversial and difficult topic when you move to the Netherlands: renting an apartment!

If you want to discuss it and need some help, let me know.

What do I need to rent an apartment?

First things first, it change almost nothing if you rent privately or via and real estate agent, the only difference is that in the second case you´d have some fee to pay more.

In any case this is what you´d be asked for:

  • BSN. It is your identification number which you need to work, open a bank account and get the health insurance. I talked about it on my article Moving to the Netherelands
  • Employment contract. If you don´t have one yet, you must show your savings and how much you got on your bank account. It is a proof that you are able to pay the rent, speaking of proof the landlord or the agent culd also ask you the last playslips from the previous job or, if you just got one, a letter of intention from your employer.
  • Passport o ID

Usually the fee to pay to the agent is the same amount of one month rental cost.

What should I expect as costs and obligations?

Finding a rental apartment in the Netherlands has been really hard in recent years. Also the prices are always higher.

Obviously things change from city to city, but the lack of apartments/ houses is a problem that has been talked about for a long time and that they try to cope with for many years. For this reason you will find few short-term rental sites that are available in the Netherlands (especially in the main cities) and, if they are located, have prohibitive prices.

In addition, since 2020 (more or less) there are many more rules and restrictions for homeowners who want to rent. An example among all: in certain areas you can not rent a house before a certain period of time from the purchase (even up to 5 years).

Another interesting point is that often in the ads it is indicated that a maximum of 2 people can register, in fact often refers to 2 surnames. So a couple with a child (who therefore carries the surname of one of the 2 parents) can still also register the child. Surely it is something to pay attention to during the research phase.

The reason? avoidinf landlords to rent the sofabed in the living room as a proper bedroom to students (mainly).

But let’s go to our list to be prepared:

  • Be patient, currently it tales approximately 1 and half month to find an apartment.
  • Be sure that you have enough money left aside to be able to pay a deposit of at least 1 month (some owners ask for 2 and in very few cases 3).
  • Usually the deposit corresponds to the notice to be given when you want to leave. In any case you will be returned at the end of the contract if the apartment is returned in the same conditions in which it was found
  • In some cases the monthly fee includes bills, but not always. Be careful, the monthly cost of bills in 2023 is about €200 per month for an apartment of about 50/60 square meters (excluding internet)
  • Usually in the houses for rent there is the kitchen and the floor, but it can happen that the latter is missing when renting a place without furniture. I know, it’s very strange but it happens. By floor I mean it will be bare and raw, concrete or wood. Always better to find a place already furnished because in any case the price difference is almost non-existent.

About the obligations from both sides, tenant and landlord, it is better to read carefully the official website where not only you find these info, but also all you need to know about social housing and the fixed-period or indefinite tenancy agreement.

It looks like the parliament is discussing a law which would make mandatory again the indefinite tenancy agreement, in fact it wsa like this until 2016. Of course both sides will have some conditions, policies to stop the agreement at a certain point if needed.

We’ll see what is going to happen.

How much does the rent cost?

And at this point, I’m sure you’re wondering!

According to the data of Numbeo.com the national average for a 1 bedroom-apartment in the city is about € 1,200 but let’s see what happens in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

Amsterdam: average cost €1,600 per month excluding expenses.

Rotterdam: average cost €1,314.37 per month excluding expenses.

The Hague: average cost €1,078.56 per month excluding expenses.

Utrecht: average cost €1,262.31 per month excluding expenses.

To these figures you will always have to add about €200 for bills.

Where to look for an apartment?

There are various sites where to look for home, some of them are also used by agencies to advertise the apartments that are given in management by the owners (in these cases you will not have to pay the agency anyway). The best known are:

One last thing to watch out for

In the Netherlands there are verbal agreements between individuals. So it could happen that the owner doesn’t give you a contract, although you can register in that apartment and, therefore, he declares the rent. It is legal, but for greater security even of those that are your and its obligations, better to require that everything is put in writing.

Also include a list of things in the house at the time of the keys, so that you do not incur any additional expenses or problems with the deposit when you leave the apartment.

I hope I was helpful, if you have any questions, please check my comments or contact me via Instagram or email: rossella@goingexpat.info

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Talk to you soon and good luck!

Rossella