How to find a rental home in the Netherlands

by Carol Ranas
6 minutes read

When we moved here, we were already on the hunt for a rental home. Buying a home was not in our mind yet for we know that it’ll cost a lot for expats, just like in Singapore.

In Singapore, we lived in a 4bedroom HDB shared with fellow Filipinos and it saved us more bucks. Here in the Netherlands, I haven’t encountered the same scenario (except for the unregistered cases). People tend to flock in Randstads where housing is a tough market and prices rise rapidly. While in the country side and suburbia, the prices are lower but the struggle of language barrier is real unless you learn Dutch quick.

Rental Housing Netherlands BeCarol

I have made a checklist on how to go about finding your rental home in the Netherlands. All information here are based on my own research, aiding you in making these tough decisions.

1. Secure a temporary shelter for at least a month, if you are relocating.

The housing market in the Netherlands can be rough. It will take a lot of time and effort before you can finally settle and decide for a rental. It is hard go secure a rental property, without actually viewing the place. It’ll be best to have temporary shelter while trying to look for rental units. Aside from the housing market being tough, there are a lot of shady people taking advantage of this. 

2. Funda and Pararius is the best way to scout the areas for cost comparison

Rental Housing Netherlands BeCarol

Funda and Pararius are reputable sites for listing houses for sale and rent. It has a combination of houses from private people, makelaars, and housing corporations. These sites will be your reference point to aid in your decision as to where to live within that is within your budget and how big of a space you want.

Rental Housing Netherlands BeCarol

3. Social Housing

If you don’t have much of a budget, Social Housing is the way to go. They have HOUSES for rent for as low as 700, depending on your status. You can even claim housing allowance from the government depending on your income. If you are single and without a child, on a limited budget, you can start with Social Housing. 

Rental Housing Netherlands BeCarol

You can find social housing rentals on kamernet, woningnet and other sites. You can find social housing recomendations on the gemente website as well.

4. Big Agencies  

There are big real estate agencies with property management departments. Sites like Vesteda, Ikwilhuren and HollandtoStay are some of the sites I chanced upon  while looking for a rental. These big agencies usually have longer wait list and you really have to be persistent to get someone to respond. The advantage is that they have more listings in different cities.

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5. Area Specific Makelaars

I have noticed that area specific makelaars have more affordable listings as compared to random makelaars you can find on google. These makelaars have advantage to the location and have more listings. They are also constantly up to date on listings. 

6. Third party agencies for expats

There are organizations (and makelaars) that cater specifically to expats (or people with no knowledge of Dutch culture/language). They usually charge higher and a bit expensive. For first timers, this is the convenient way to go but be warned that will cost more. They know the system (in Dutch) and have knowledge how to go around. Some charge a month’s worth of deposit for theior service, while others uosell the listings they have with partnered makelaars. 

The relocation team hired by my husband’s company helped us, but their housing choices were out of our budget. In the end, we went with LV Housing. They responded fast with a decent listings in the places we were considering to rent.


Rental Housing Netherlands BeCarol

We came from a third world country, and living small have been our motto. But when we came here in the Netherlands, we were shocked on how expensive to find a rental accommodation here. Initially, we budgeted for a studio/1bedroom apartment to rent, but we were greeted with a big NO, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. Housing regulations here in the Netherlands are strict, especially for families. Rentals for families, we were advised to add one room for our kid (even though he’s still small). So we fell on the bracket of more expensive housing (minimum 2 bedroom). It ate most of our budget, not to include the two months deposit  requirement. Also, room sharing for different families were not a norm here. The housing regulations here are strict. They say it protects more of the tenants rather than the landlords, but still, the market is insane!

How did you find housing in your area?

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