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Welcome to the Netherlands. On this page, you will find information about the topics that are most frequently asked about on RefugeeHelp. This page will be updated monthly with the most relevant topics.

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Last updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Here you can find more information about renting a place to live in the Netherlands.

Renting a home

You can rent a property if you are under Temporary Protection.

It is important to know that it is currently very difficult to find housing. This is because there are fewer available (rental) properties than the number of people looking for housing. Because of the housing shortage, rents are very high and it can take a long time to find suitable housing.

The housing shortage is a nationwide problem. How difficult it is to find a home can vary between cities and villages. In general, it is more difficult in (large) cities than in villages.

Social housing

The Netherlands distinguishes between social housing and housing in the private rental sector.

Social housing is meant for people with an income of up to €40,765 per year when living alone and up to €45,014 per year when living together (with a partner and/or child, for example).

In general, social housing is cheaper than private sector housing. You may also be entitled to rental allowance. You can read more about this on the page Rental allowance.

Waiting list

To rent social housing, you must have enough 'waiting time'. This means you must register for the waiting list for social rentals within the municipality or region where you seek housing. Social housing is usually rented to people who have been on the waiting list the longest.

The average waiting time varies by municipality, but it can be very long. For example, the waiting time for social housing in Amsterdam is over 13 years right now.

On the website of the Dutch government you will find more information on social housing. the Dutch government also has more information about if you are eligeble for social housing.

Renting in the private sector

Landlords in the private sector do not have to meet many of the requirements that social housing has to meet. For example, there is no maximum rental price and there are fewer rules about its increase. In addition, you often are not eligible for rental allowance in a private sector house. You can read more about this on the page Rental allowance.

Furthermore, with free-sector housing, there are differences in the state in which a property is rented. For example, there are:

  1. Bare homes: a bare home has no permanent flooring, lighting, wallpapered or painted walls and (sometimes) no built-in kitchen. So factor in additional costs for furnishing your home.

  2. Semi-furnished homes: a semi-furnished home has carpeting, curtains or blinds, lighting and (usually) a kitchen with a refrigerator, stove, hood and an oven and/or microwave. You must arrange the rest of your home's furnishings yourself.

  3. Furnished homes: a furnished home has carpeting, curtains or blinds, lighting and a (nearly) fully equipped kitchen. There is also furniture in the house such as a dining table, chairs, a sofa, closets and, in many cases, a bed. You can often discuss with a landlord whether you want to keep all the furniture in the house.

Please note: keep in mind that the odds of being able to rent a home in the private sector are higher than the odds of being able to rent social housing.

You must meet these requirements if you want to rent

As a tenant, you must meet certain requirements. Which requirements apply to you depends on what kind of housing you want to rent. For example, different requirements may apply to social housing than to housing in the private sector. Below are a number of requirements you usually have to meet:

Social housing

The conditions for renting social housing are:

  • You must be registered with a housing association or another organization that provides social housing. You can check with your municipality to see which organizations these are.

  • In some municipalities you need a housing permit. You can request this from your municipality.

  • Housing corporations may have requirements based on family size or the amount of your income. You must meet these requirements if you want to rent from this housing corporation.

More information on social housing can be found at the website of the Dutch government.

Private rental sector

Requirements for renting a private sector home can vary by landlord. The most common requirements are listed below:

  • A valid ID from your country of origin;

  • A gross income from work of at least three times the rent;

  • Paying a security deposit of one to three times the monthly rent.

Sometimes landlords in the private sector set requirements that they are not legally allowed to set. If you are in doubt about whether the landlord is making these kinds of demands, you can contact Het Juridisch Loket.

For more information, check out the website of the Dutch Government.

Insurance for a rental home

There are insurance policies that are wise to purchase as a renter. It is not an obligation to purchase insurance. But if, for example, a fire occurs in your rental property, it is nice if your belongings are covered.

Contents Insurance: When you take out contents insurance, all the things in your home that you can just take with you are insured. In other words, everything that is not fixed. Think of your furniture, technical equipment, but also your curtains and jewelry. Contents insurance pays out after, for example, a fire, storm, burglary or flooding.

Liability Insurance: Liability insurance insures you for the damage you accidentally cause to or on others. Think of accidentally knocking over that expensive vase at the neighbors, but also physical injury caused by a collision on a bicycle is covered by liability insurance. Liability insurance is not mandatory, but it can save you from high costs in case of an accident.

You can compare and purchase insurance through Independer.

Finding a home in the private sector

There are several ways to find housing in the private sector. Keep in mind that it can take a long time to find suitable and affordable housing.

  1. Housing associations: sometimes housing associations also offer private sector housing. You do not need to register with the housing corporation for this. Check the website of a housing corporation in your area for their current supply of private sector housing.

  2. Real estate agents: sometimes realtors offer rental properties in the private sector. It may help to contact a real estate agent in your area by phone or e-mail. Together you can check for suitable homes.

  3. Advertisements: private sector homes are often offered through advertisements in newspapers, on social media or via special websites such as Funda, Pararius, Trovit en Kamernet.

Please note: online platforms such as Facebook and Marktplaats are not always trustworthy places to find your home. Look carefully to see if the photos of the property match the description. Do not pay a deposit until you have seen the property and signed a lease.

Do not agree to anonymous payment methods, such as Western Union, Airbnb and Moneygram. Next to that, does an ad seem too good to be true? If so, it usually is.

Cost of renting

Life in the Netherlands is currently very expensive. Rental prices can vary greatly by region; for example, homes in the western and central part of the Netherlands are more expensive than homes in the eastern and northern parts of the country. Besides the monthly rent, you also have to pay for many other things. For example:

So keep in mind that renting a home costs more than just the rent. Before renting, get your monthly income and expenses properly listed. That way you can avoid unexpected bills and know exactly what you have left over each month.

Rent benefit

Rental allowance is compensation from the government in your rent costs. Not everyone who rents is eligible for rental allowance. To qualify, you must not earn too much. In addition, the rent must not be too high, but also not too low.

Want to know if you are eligible for rental allowance? Then check the website of the Belastingdienst for the terms and conditions. Would you like to apply for rental allowance? You can do so via the website of the Belastingdienst.

Please note: Are you eligible for rental allowance? The amount of rental allowance you get depends on your income. Therefore, it is important to inform the Belastingdienst if your income changes. Do you not do this or not in time? Then you may have to repay (part of) the rental allowance you received.

Communicating a change of address to the municipality

You are required to register in the municipality where you will be living. Have you found another house within the municipality in which you already live? In that case you also have to inform the municipality that your address has changed. The municipality will update your details in De Basisregistratie Personen (BRP).