Student Mobility / Housing / 5 Last Minute Tips For Finding Housing In The Netherlands

5 Last Minute Tips For Finding Housing In The Netherlands

We know that finding student housing in the Netherlands can be pretty difficult. In fact, you may feel as it's more likely that you'll win the lottery than score a decent student room within your budget. If you haven’t secured your home away from home yet, here are 5 last-minute tips for finding housing in the Netherlands. 

1. Check the usual websites at least once per day

New property listings are posted every single day. At this point, the last thing you probably want to do is check Facebook for the umpteenth time. However, it’s really the only way to ensure that you’ll find something. The more messages you send, the higher your chance of scoring a viewing is. Makes sense, right? 

Better yet, make a list of websites to check every day, rather than just looking on Facebook alone. For student rooms in the Netherlands, these are the ones to know: 

  • Facebook (as we mentioned) – join all the housing groups you can find for your city and those that surround it
  • Kamernet – if you want to contact landlords, you’ll have to pay for a membership 
  • Housinganywhere – a great option if you want to avoid being scammed; can be on the pricier side though
  • Roomplaza – ideal if you want to apply for an apartment with a group of friends
  • Studentenwoningweb – for student room searches in the Amsterdam area
  • HospiHousing – free to message landlords; allows families or professionals to list spare rooms in their house 
  • Xior Student Housing – active in many Dutch cities, with a large offering of studios 
  • The Social Hub – a student hotel of sorts that offers both long-term and short-term rentals; can be very expensive 
  • Pararius – the Netherlands’ main housing rental website where landlords and agencies can advertise rooms and apartments 
  • Student housing corporations that partner with universities (look here for a full overview per city) – this is a long shot due to their competitiveness but these organizations offer student rooms and studios at affordable prices 

2. Make sure you’re sending a catchy intro message 

Often when people see a new room being advertised, they panic and send a brief message as quickly as possible. While the speed of a response is definitely important, so is the initial impression that you’re making. 

Most room listings get dozens of responses. Therefore, writing “hi can I rent the room” probably isn’t going to cut it. Instead, sit down and come up with an engaging, thoughtful and funny message about yourself and the type of roommate/tenant you would be. Think of your interests and personality traits and find a way to include these in your intro. It may also be helpful to ask your friends of family members what they think your unique selling points are. 

Once you have a foolproof introduction written out, you can send this to any landlord or potential flatmate. Just make sure you adjust your message according to the individual listing you’re replying to – don’t mess up someone’s name or mention ‘studio’ when you’re actually applying for a room. In short: reread before you send. 

3. Never pay anything unless you know that a property is legit 

If the housing situation in the Netherlands isn’t already bleak enough, the abundance of scammers definitely doesn’t make things any easier. Don’t pay any money to someone you started chatting to on Facebook after they promised you that they have the nicest room available for just 350 euros a month. Most likely, that’s just too good to be true. 

Always make sure you see the property in person or via a video call (unless it’s from a certified rental website), as well as a contract, before you pay a deposit or the first month’s rent. The only thing worse than starting your studies without a permanent place to live is starting your studies without a permanent place to live and having been scammed out of several hundred euros. 

While some scammers are great at their craft, there are usually some ways to tell that something fishy is going on. Look out for the following: 

  • a concerningly cheap rent sum (as mentioned) – legitimate Dutch landlords often overcharge 
  • listing pictures that either look too good or too bad – think of professional interior photos or grainy, blurry shots 
  • listings that are written in an odd way or include a lot of spelling mistakes 
  • a (Facebook) profile with little information that was recently created 
  • “landlords” that refuse to offer viewings or give any information about themselves or the property 
  • contracts that don’t include the “landlord’s” bank account information, address or the starting or ending period of the rent 
  • rooms or apartments that do not allow registration at the municipality

When in doubt, you can reverse image search profile or listing images on Google, while also checking the address on Google Maps or via the Land Registry

4. Search with others rather than on your own 

Sometimes searching together with others yields more results than doing so on your own. Think of either joining an existing group of students who have already been approved for an apartment or starting your own. Of course, the best way to go would be to team up with people who you have met in real life. 

However, when this is not possible, there are Facebook groups out there for this exact purpose (again: beware of scammers). If you belong to a group of three students, you can apply for apartments via websites like Pararius or rental agents active in your city. Oftentimes, if you choose this strategy, you'll be facing much less competition. 

5. Widen your search scope 

Don’t just look in the city that your university is located in. One of the Netherlands’ best assets is its size. Especially the major cities are within close proximity of one another, while there are also many feasible smaller hotspots in their surroundings. Think: if you’ve been admitted to Delft, also check for housing in Rotterdam, The Hague and Schiedam. Don’t let a little commuting deter you from securing a great place to live.  

Student Housing Corporations 

We can't do a blog post on tips for finding housing in the Netherlands without talking about applying for university-backed student housing in the Netherlands. There are several organizations that offer student rooms and studios at student-friendly prices, like DUWO, SSH Student Housing, Lieven de Key, De Veste, Stadswonen Rotterdam and Brabant Wonen, among others (check the list here). 

However, scoring accommodation on one of these is often extremely challenging, especially last minute. Though it may seem as if a lot of properties are being listed, each one will have hundreds of people applying, making the whole process very competitive. Often account age plays a role as well, meaning the longer you have been registered on a specific organization’s platform, the higher your probability of getting a room. 

Though the chance of you getting a room via one of these corporations is low for this academic year, we would still recommend making an account for the ones active in your city. You never know... perhaps you’ll thank yourself in a year or two. 

Those were our 5 last minute tips for finding housing in the Netherlands. If you’d like to know more, check out our other blog post on the topic. Good luck, and remember – eventually things will all fall into place! 

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