How to Rent a Place in the Netherlands

As a temporary worker

people enjoying their privacy in an apartment for rent

 
If you came to work in the Netherlands from Poland, Latvia, Portugal, Lithuania or any other European country, you probably live in an accommodation provided by your job agency. And you are not happy about it.

Agency housing is an acceptable solution for a short period of time. But if you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer, sooner or later you will miss your privacy, peace and quiet, and decide to rent a house or an apartment.

Mission not impossible

Finding a good and affordable place to rent in the Netherlands is difficult, because some landlords and rental agencies refuse to do business with people on temporary employment contracts. Finding a place to rent is not exactly mission impossible, but it takes determination, patience, and a little bit of luck. Rejections are part of the experience, but surrender is not an option.  A lot of temporary workers who now live in private accommodation went through the same process.

If you react to as many suitable offers as you can find, at some point you will get lucky and find a place.

 

a woman checking houses for rent on her mobile

Keep looking. New offers appear every day.

Below you can find a couple of tips to help you get started and keep you going until you find your perfect place for rent.

Budget and location

As obvious as it sounds, you don’t want to spend all your salary on rent. Take a look at your monthly salary and decide what part of it you can spend every month on rent. You also don’t want to spend hours commuting to work every day, so choose your location with care. All housing websites allow you to define your location and budget in the search setting, so use them.

Prepare financially

Closing the deal with your landlord or rental agency is expensive. You will have to pay your first month rent, a one-time deposit that amounts to one month rent, and, if you are renting through a rental agency, an administration fee. It’s quite a lot of money to spend at once, but it is an absolute must.

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It’s time to break your piggy bank.

Prepare your documents

Your ID, an employment contract, and recent payslips are the documents every rental agency requires. What often helps is a document called werkgeversverklaring. It’s a statement from your employer with information about the company you work for and your employment history.

Get a feel of the market

A good page to start with is Pararius.com. The website lists all the properties offered by rental agencies all over the Netherlands. Additionally, it’s completely free and available in English. Go to the homepage and search for the location you are interested in. Fill in the maximum rent price you are willing to pay per month to narrow your search. However, some prices are exclusive – meaning the costs of water, gas, electricity, etc. will still be added to your rent, or inclusive – meaning the costs are already included in the rent.

Get an idea of what you are getting yourself into.

Make a list of the good rental agencies

When you contact a rental agency about their offer, ask them about their rules for renting properties to temporary workers. Some agencies will refuse to deal with you. Write down their name, so you won’t waste any more time trying to rent a place from such agencies. Make a list of the agencies that can help you and check their websites regularly.

Prepare your story

Your employment contract and your payslips will be important for the landlord and the real-estate agents, but we are all people, and like all people we often trust our first impressions more than numbers. If you decide to contact a landlord or a real-estate agent, be prepared. Good impression is very important, because these people want someone trustworthy, likeable, and reasonable as their next tenant.
Decide how you want to get in touch. Some people prefer to call, some people prefer to send an email. A lot of websites, offer direct contact form. In any case, be clear, get to the point, and say a little about yourself to convince your reader you know what you are doing.

writing a message to a rental agency

Communication is the key. Make sure you know what to say and what to ask before you contact the landlord or rental agency.

Rent directly from the owner

If rental agencies are making your life too difficult, try finding a place directly from the owner. There are many ways owners advertise their houses, but wherever you look be careful about scammers who will want to take advantage of you. Don’t pay any money before signing the contract.

Check Marktplaats.nl. The category you want is Huizen en Kamers. To make sure you get offers directly from the owner, type ‘direct bij eigenaar’ in the search field. Keep checking Marktplaats regularly. The offers show and disappear very quickly so every day there are new chances.
Facebook groups such as Housing Eindhoven or Expats Eindhoven are also worth checking. Additionally, communities of expats often offer a lot of useful advice.
Directwonen.nl and Kamernet.nl are also popular portals connecting landlords with renters, but, as many other pages like that, you have to pay a small fee to use them. You can browse the offers for free, but to contact the owner you need subscribe to a premium account.
If you decide to subscribe, make sure you cancel your subscription when you no longer need or want it. Otherwise, the payments will go on automatically. And look out for the scammers.

Test your luck and patience with social housing

snail houseSocial housing is a very affordable and sustainable option if you want to live in the Netherlands, but it is a long-term project for many, and a lucky strike for just a few.

Social houses are offered by housing organizations called woonbedrijven. Usually all woonbedrijven from the region have one common website where they post their offers. In the region of Eindhoven it’s Wooniezie.nl.
You should register as soon as possible, because the longer you are registered the bigger your chances of getting a house become.
Once you register, you can react on the offered houses.

There are two ways in which Wooniezie chooses the potential candidates for a house. Inschrijfduur means that from the people who reacted on the house, the person with longest registration will get it. Another one is Loting, which means that the candidates will be chosen in a lottery.

An extra document you will need to get social housing is an inkomensverklaring. It is a document you can request from Belastingdienst (Dutch tax office) which states your yearly income on the basis of your tax return (belasting aangifte).

 

Don’t give up