How to Find Housing in the Netherlands as an International Student

Housing in the Netherlands - a private room
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How to Find Housing in the Netherlands – Given the Netherlands commitment to quality education, international students are attracted to the Netherlands for higher education. More so, most courses are taught in English.

More importantly, student housing arrangements are convenient and purposefully built.

However, finding suitable accommodations can be challenging, especially if you are new to the country. In this blog post, we will delve into the housing options available to international students in the Netherlands, providing valuable insights and recommendations for a successful housing search.

Housing in the Netherlands – Understanding the Dutch Housing Market

In the Netherlands, around 75% of rental properties fall into the social housing category, which is managed by housing associations. These strategies tend to bring more competitive pricing than properties in the private market.

However, it is important to note that the Dutch government strictly regulates social housing and prioritizes distribution as needed. As a result, many immigrants’ eligibility for social housing is limited due to long waiting lists and specific income limits. 

Also, housing associations often share 80% of their housing units with combined income outstanding higher than €36,798, and an additional 10% is reserved for those up to €41,056. Joint income retention. This leaves only 10% of social housing available to individuals on higher incomes.

Types of Accommodation in the Netherland

In the Netherlands there are different housing types available to students, such as student dormitories, shared apartments, or private rented apartments. These accommodation options are preferred by Dutch students and are also similar to student accommodation in berlin. However, it is important to note that students generally do not live on university campuses in the Netherlands.

1. Hotel in the Netherlands for International Students

These hotels are specifically designed for students, these apartments are conveniently located near universities. It includes dormitories and shared apartments, which offer inclusive shopping and amenities. The downside, however, is often long wait times and the need to apply early.

2. Private Accommodation in the Netherlands for International Students

Private housing includes non-student-specific accommodations such as apartments, houses, or rental units. Although private rooms are more expensive than hotels, they offer greater flexibility in terms of location and amenities. It should be noted that finding a private home can be difficult, especially in sought-after university cities such as Amsterdam and Utrecht.

3. Homestay in the Netherlands for international students

The homestay is a housing pattern where  students live with local families, providing an opportunity to experience Dutch culture and language. However, it can be a bit more expensive in the Netherlands, although some families are expanding this option.

4. Short-term stays in the Netherlands for international students

Short-term accommodation includes short-term rental accommodations such as hotels and holiday rentals. While it can come at a cost, it is a practical alternative to finding temporary accommodation when looking for a long-term home.

Housing in the NetherlandsRental costs in the Netherlands 

• Private Accommodation – Renting a single apartment (studio): €500–€1,000/month 

• Shares Flat – Sharing a rented apartment: €400–€700/month 

• Student houses: €350–€600/month.

• Homestay with a host family: €250–€450/month 

• Private one-bedroom apartments: €300–€600/month 

• Student accommodations like dormitories or campus halls of residence: €700–€1,000 per semester

Planning Ahead

In order to find affordable accommodation that fits your budget, it’s important to start your search thoroughly 3–4 months before the semester begins. Additionally, your accommodation budget is of utmost importance, especially given the potentially high cost of housing in the Netherlands, especially in sought-after university cities such as Amsterdam and Utrecht. 

Look at your budget and determine how much you can comfortably provide for housing. Keep in mind that total living expenses are usually on the higher side, so it’s important to consider other expenses such as food, transportation, and leisure activities.

In addition, where you live matters because it affects your daily life. Proximity to your university and amenities such as public transport, supermarkets, restaurants, and parks can greatly affect your comfort. You may want a peaceful neighborhood or somewhere that is warm or full of activities. It’s important to weigh your personal preferences and priorities when choosing a location.

Also, if you intend to share your accommodation with others, it’s important to thoroughly research potential roommates. Sharing roommates can create opportunities to make new friends and reduce rent, but only if you find a roommate who matches your values and lifestyle. Factors such as cleanliness, noise tolerance, and compatibility should be considered when choosing the right roommate.

Best Resources for Accommodation Search in Netherland for International Students

Given the substantial shortage of student housing in the Netherlands, international students are advised to commence their housing application process as early as possible. Here are some valuable insights on securing student accommodation in the Netherlands:

  • University Housing Services: Most Dutch universities lack a traditional campus setup but collaborate with various housing organisations to provide student housing. To avoid disappointment, it is crucial to register for a room promptly. Pricing may fluctuate based on your chosen location and room type. It’s important to note that some universities may not offer student housing, requiring students to find accommodation independently.
  • Online Housing Platforms: The internet can be a valuable resource in your quest for housing. Additionally, consider exploring social media platforms, as you might encounter individuals in your network searching for roommates.
  • Real Estate Agencies: When renting through an agency in the Netherlands, anticipate administrative fees in addition to standard upfront costs. These agencies oversee all aspects of the rental process, from initial property viewings to contract signing and key issuance. Similar to practices in other countries, Dutch estate agencies may request substantial information and conduct credit checks to assess your financial history.
  • Student Housing Associations and Agencies: . Registering with these organisations often involves a fee, and due to limited availability, you may be placed on a waiting list. To enhance your chances, register as soon as possible. Keep in mind that rooms cannot typically be reserved in advance, and you’ll need to be present in the Netherlands for property viewings. Notably, the prominent student housing associations and agencies include:

How to Apply for Student Housing in the Netherlands

When international students apply for accommodations in the Netherlands, they are generally required to provide;

  • Visa or valid photo ID
  • Residence Permit
  • Proof of school enrolment
  • Financial Statements or employment contract 
  • Rental Agreements and Contracts.
  • You may also be asked for your citizen service number (BSN)
  • Some landlords may apply for a Dutch guarantee or security deposit. 

Tips for a Successful Housing in the Netherlands

  • Know what you want: Having a clear idea of your housing preferences is crucial for a successful search, ensuring you receive the necessary assistance.
  • Start Early: Starting your housing hunt well in advance is essential in the Netherlands, where finding suitable accommodation can be time-consuming. Check if your university provides student housing options to kick-start your quest.
  • Don’t have high expectations: Given the relatively high cost of living in the Netherlands, it’s wise to align your housing choices with your budget. While student housing is often the more budget-friendly choice, it’s advisable to compare it with private housing to determine the best fit.
  • Networking and Social Media: Numerous websites and online platforms can facilitate your housing search in the Netherlands. Consider utilizing popular platforms like Kamernet, Pararius, and Housing Anywhere to explore available apartments, houses, and rooms in your desired location.


  • Be prepared for interviews.
  • Exercise caution against Scams
  • Always review rental contracts thoroughly before signing.
Need our Assistance for your LOE/SOP? Contact Fasthire today.
Need our Assistance for your LOE/SOP? Contact Fasthire today.

Tips on Managing Accommodation Expenses in the Netherland

A full understanding of the various costs associated with accommodation is essential to managing your finances effectively when renting in the Netherlands. These additional costs may include the following:

  • Dutch Utility Bills: This category includes electricity and internet service charges.
  • Municipal taxes: While some landlords may include municipal taxes in the rent, in other cases tenants may be required to pay these separately.
  • Furniture: Since most rented accommodation in the Netherlands lacks furniture, it is often necessary to budget for essentials such as sofas, beds, tables, and kitchen utensils.
  • Services and telecommunications in the Netherlands: Depending on the property you have chosen and the terms of your rental agreement, you may be responsible for setting up utility accounts such as electricity, gas, internet, telephone, and TV when renting in the Netherlands.

Landlords often work around this arrangement and add the associated monthly costs to your rent, allowing you to split any extra charges explicitly, but under conditions where you are tasked with setting up these tasks internally, you will need to contact the relevant service and start setting up an account.


Protecting your belongings is an important consideration after securing your accommodation in the Netherlands. Contents insurance provides you with a shield against possible risks such as theft, unexpected damage, etc., giving you peace of mind in your new abode. 

It should be noted that some building policies may require the purchase of contents insurance. Notable contents insurance companies in the Netherlands include:

If you are unsure which provider best suits your needs, you can compare home furnishings deals quickly and efficiently using a reputable price comparison website.

Tenants’ Rights and Obligations

Much of Dutch rent law applies to the tenant, not the landlord; there are specific procedures for disputing rent increases or other issues. 

More so, landlords cannot evict their tenants because they do not leave their homes without good reason and must go through legal proceedings to obtain an eviction notice, which can be lengthy. It is important to note that all details of rights and obligations should be clearly stated in the rental agreement.

The duties of the tenant will usually include:
• Pay rent and any other agreed-upon monthly payments on time;
• Follow the approved house rules as specified in the contract;
• Payments for minor, inexpensive repairs, such as light bulb and showerhead replacements;
• Pay for any actual damages;
• Allow the landlord access to the premises for necessary repairs or inspections, provided sufficient notice has been given.
• Also, provide reasonable justification and notice when terminating the contract.

More so, terms such as sub-lets and changes to internal fittings vary from contract to contract. You will not be allowed to sublet or make permanent changes without permission unless your rental agreement allows.

Where to go in the Event of a Dispute

If there is a dispute between the landlord and the tenant, you can sometimes resolve it through a complaints committee. Most social housing agencies and some private housing agencies have these.

But in case you are unable to resolve the dispute in this way, or if there is no complaints committee associated with the property, you will need to refer it to the Rent Tribunal (huurcommissie). These can address issues related to rent, maintenance, and service charges.

Huurcommissie is an independent national body that can handle and adjudicate disputes. The landlord or tenant can initiate the proceedings. The fee is €25 for an individual (landlord or tenant) or €450 for a company or organisation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the average monthly rent for student accommodation in the Netherlands?

Student accommodations like dormitories or campus halls of residence cost around €700–€1,000 per semester while sharing a rented apartment ranges from €400–€700/month. 

2. How much does student housing cost in Amsterdam?

The cost of student houses in Amsterdam ranges from €350–€600/month.

3. Can non-students rent a student property?

Yes, they can. They will be required to provide a valid ID card, proof of residency, bank statements including employment contract, Dutch guarantee or security deposits for some landlords. For citizens, their citizen service number (BSN) will be required. 

3. Is there a student housing shortage in Amsterdam?

Yes, Amsterdam is currently facing severe housing shortage. The Amsterdam rental market is known as a “fast market” meaning that apartments for rents are only available for a few days before they are successfully rented. 

4. Is on-campus housing the best choice for international students in the Netherlands?

No, many international students do not like on-campus due to factors like privacy also it is often a long wait securing accommodation on-campus.

5. How can I find affordable housing in major Dutch cities like Amsterdam or Rotterdam?

It is preferable to use student housing associations or agencies, real estate agencies, online platforms, or university housing services.


As an international student in the Netherlands, finding suitable accommodation is a necessary endeavor. While hotels are popular, it’s important to plan ahead and match your budget with the cost of living. Exploring different housing options, such as student dormitories, private rentals, or homes, allows for flexibility.

Additionally, rent control includes utility charges, municipal taxes, and utility charges. Understanding your tenant’s rights and responsibilities, including procedures for resolving disputes, is critical to a harmonious rental experience. Finally, protecting your belongings with contents insurance gives you peace of mind in your new home. Remember to compare insurers against providers to determine the best fit.

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