Accommodation in the Netherlands

Houses in the Netherlands
Updated 2020-03-06 14:14

Maybe you’re passing through the Netherlands for a week or so. Or maybe you’re making a permanent move here. Whatever might the reason be, you may be looking for accommodation in the Netherlands. While it can be more expensive and difficult to find housing, it can be quite rewarding to stay in this country. In this article, we will discuss the types of accommodation you will find, plus the typical prices you can expect.

Types of accommodation in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are a few types of accommodation for you to choose from. Since there’s a huge shortage of accommodation, if you can’t find your first choice, you should move onto alternatives to secure housing.

The types of accommodation here are:

  • Short-stays: You can get a taste of Dutch living by staying in an Airbnb.
  • Student housing: You can be placed on a list at your university. The sooner you get on it, the better.
  • Apartments: You can either rent your own or share with a roommate or two. However, the law is strict on the legal limit of tenants, so don’t expect the landlord to bend the rules. They usually prefer just one tenant.
  • Houses: If you’re lucky enough to find (and afford) a house, you can rent one out for either yourself or your family. If you’re a student, you can gather other students to live with you and split the costs.
  • Anti-squatting (antikraak): You can stay in a place for dirt cheap to help companies ward off squatters. However, waiting lists may be as long as 15 years. Plus, you don’t have as many rights as you would as a formal tenant would.

Rent prices in the Netherlands

When compared to other European countries, the Netherlands has very high averages when it comes to rent prices. If you want to live in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, or The Hague, the average price for rent is €1,154 per month.

As the housing shortage grows, rent prices shoot up. To work around this, you should try looking outside the Randstad and try more rural places if possible. Not only is there more housing available in those areas, but rent will be cheaper as well.

The caveat to living farther out is you will have a longer commute if you work in the Randstad. Also, it may be more difficult to fit into the community, as their social groups will be well-established and not as flexible to change. The number of people who speak fluent English will be lower as well.

Lease conditions and procedures in the Netherlands

You can find listings on FundaDirectWonen, and Pararius. When you’re going through the renting process, make sure you always visit the property in person. Since people are desperate for housing, there are many people running scams who take thousands in Euros as payment, then disappear.

If you’re satisfied with a property and want to go ahead with renting it, you will have to sign a contract. Make sure you get an English version so you understand the terms completely. Many properties include things like water, electricity, gas, and internet with the rental price, so double-check those are in the contract if it was advertised as such.

After you sign the contract, you will have to put down a deposit, which is usually one to two months’ rent. You should also go through the property with the landlord so you can extensively document any existing damage. Otherwise, they will try to charge you for it when you move out.

Some apartments are cheaper because they’re a “shell” apartment. This is a bare property; even more so than an unfurnished apartment. It won’t have furniture or appliances, nor will it have flooring. You will be expected to purchase everything on your own. You can either take everything away with you after you move out or you can try and sell it to the next tenant.

Buying property in the Netherlands

The good news is you don’t have to be a resident to buy property in the Netherlands, which means there are no residency requirements to fulfil. However, if you want to get a Dutch mortgage, you’ll have to prove you’ve lived and worked in the Netherlands; the longer, the better. 

Do note, however, that this process may be more difficult for you if you are a non-EU citizen.

If you’re successful in getting a mortgage, or if you don’t need one, you’ll need to then establish a sales contract (koopakte) and get a notary. They will prepare your deed documents (leveringsakte) and mortgage (hypoteekakte) for your bank loan if needed.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.