Student Mobility / Housing / 7 Tips for Your Housing Hunt in the Netherlands 

7 Tips for Your Housing Hunt in the Netherlands 

Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure, but finding a place to live can be one of the most challenging parts of the journey. The Netherlands is a popular destination for international students and expats. However, the housing market here is very competitive and fast-moving. To help you navigate this process, we've compiled seven essential tips to ensure your housing hunt is as smooth and successful as possible. 

1 Start Early 

The housing market in the Netherlands is highly competitive, with many people looking for accommodations at the same time. To get ahead, start your search as early as possible. Listings for apartments and rooms often appear 1-2 months before they are available. By beginning your search early, you increase your chances of finding a place that meets your needs and budget before the competition becomes too fierce and you need to look for temporary accommodation when the semester starts.  

2 Prepare Your Documents in Advance 

Landlords in the Netherlands often require a variety of documents to verify your identity and financial stability. Commonly requested documents include: 

  • Passport or ID 
  • Financial Statement 
  • Work Contract 
  • University Enrollment Confirmation 

3 Be Fast and Proactive 

Due to the high demand for housing, properties can be rented out within days or even hours of being listed, so it’s crucial to act quickly. Apply to as many suitable listings as possible and respond promptly to any communication from landlords or agencies. Being proactive and showing genuine interest can significantly increase your chances of securing a place. 

4 Write a Good Motivation Letter 

A well-written motivation letter can set you apart from other applicants. In this letter, introduce yourself and provide key information that landlords look for, including: 

  • you financial situation and income to reassure the landlord that you can consistently pay rent 
  • you relationship status 
  • whether you work or you are a student (or both) 
  • your personal habits (for example whether if you smoke or have any pets)
  • how long you plan to stay in the country. 

Through a thoughtful motivation letter, you show the landlords that you are responsible and committed to being a good tenant. 

5 Search on Multiple Platforms 

Using a variety of platforms will broaden your search and increase your chances of finding the right place. Here are some popular housing platforms in the Netherlands:  

  • Facebook Marketplace: Offers local listings and direct communication with landlords. 
  • Kamernet: Requires a membership fee to contact landlords but has a wide range of listings. 
  • HousingAnywhere: Known for preventing scams; though it may be more expensive. 
  • Roomplaza: Ideal for friends looking to rent together. 
  • Xior Student Housing: Offers studios in various cities. 
  • The Social Hub: Provides long-term and short-term rentals, but often pricey. 
  • Pararius: The main rental website in the Netherlands, featuring listings from both landlords and agencies. 

6 Attend Viewings 

Always attend property viewings in person or virtually. This allows you to verify the listing and avoid scams. If a landlord refuses to show you the property or asks for payment before a viewing, it’s a red flag. Seeing the property firsthand helps ensure it meets your expectations and is in good condition. 

7 Be aware of scams 

Unfortunately, housing scams are common. Here are some warning signs that you need to look out to:  

  • No Viewings: If the landlord avoids showing the property, it could be a scam. 
  • Upfront Payments: Be cautious of requests for payment before you’ve seen the property. 
  • Too Good to Be True: Extremely low prices or unusually favorable terms can be a sign of fraud. 
  • Apartments that do not allow registration at the municipality are also a warning sign.

Finding housing in the Netherlands requires preparation, quick action, and vigilance, but don’t lose hope and eventually you will find your perfect apartment or room. We wish you the best of luck with your housing hunt, and welcome to the Netherlands! 

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