Before moving to the Netherlands
We will start with the basic characteristics of the market around housing in the Netherlands: As in all things in the Netherlands, the state’s intervention in the “free market” is high. The system here is not really a free market which works to the benefit of the tenants. The Dutch state considers housing to be one of the basic human rights.
Below you will find information for Bachelor students or people planning to stay more than 1 year in the Netherlands
Housing is divided into two categories: private and social housing. The social houses are run by large real estate companies, the most famous and largest being Lefier (registration is done through other sites, we will mention them below). Main difference of these is the low rental cost according to the point system (further explained below) that each house holds, the low bills since almost all are at the price of the rent and that the admission is done with the waiting time.
Of course there are income criteria which are difficult, if not impossible, for students/workers on minimum wage or close-to-minimum wages to overcome, since the philosophy is cheap housing for people on low incomes.
We will start with links, comments and suggestions for housing, mainly for Master and Erasmus students which of course also apply to Bachelor students. We recommend these mainly for Master and Erasmus students since the maximum rental period is 1 year and 6 months respectively. The table below further explains several options, starting from the best options, with the categories and then the comments will follow.
Here is a list of the real estate agencies. This is where things tighten up as there are many real estate agencies that don’t accept students, men, internationals, don’t accept friends but do accept couples, some may ask for proof of salary etc. A tip that generally works is simple sentences in Dutch ( google translate is your friend) , along the lines of “is this available,or can we make an appointment?” and in person you could say you would prefer to communicate in English because you just started Dutch. You have a much better chance of getting a reply and a viewing than in English. This does not apply to everything; you can send an email in English and if you don’t get a reply, send another email in Dutch.
Here are a few Facebook/WhatsApp groups where people lease or sublet their rooms.