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Renting in the Netherlands

So, you’ve found an amazing job in the Netherlands. Your next step is to find somewhere to live. Do I rent a house? Is it better to buy? What does expat housing in the Netherlands look like? Where do I start looking and how much is it all going to cost? All these questions must be swimming around your head and probably a million more. The rental market in the Netherlands is very strong and also quite complex. The advantage over buying is the flexibility it offers you. If you’re not sure how long you’re staying then renting is low commitment and low responsibility.

Where to live in the Netherlands

The first thing you need to consider is where you want to live. How do you plan to get to work? By car? By bike? It can be a good idea to ask advice from your new employers or colleagues on the best areas to live. The Netherlands is a safe country and most neighbourhoods will be nice but, it always helps to get advice from the locals. Amsterdam apartments for rent are a good option as houses are in short supply, whereas you can rent apartments in Eindhoven or even a house with a garden for much less. You will get more for your money if you choose to live outside of the city centre but, you then have to take your commute times into account.

Searching a house in the Netherlands

The market for rent in the Netherlands is fast moving. Eindhoven and Amsterdam apartments for rent are in such short supply, you need to start your search as soon as possible. You can use online portals such as or to give you an idea of the properties in the area. You could choose to employ an estate agent to search for you. They will charge for this service, up to 1 months’ rent. You could also try expat forums on Facebook or your internal company websites. Many Amsterdam apartments for rent are advertised through word of mouth and you can often hear about them first on social media. It might be an idea to start off in a short- term rental property, while you look for something more permanent. These will be more expensive but, they will give you the chance to look around and assess the area.

The Costs of renting in the Netherlands

There is a high demand for private rental properties in the Netherlands, especially in big cities. As an expat, you are unlikely to qualify for social housing so rents will vary according to the market value. Small Amsterdam apartments for rent can cost anything from €800-€1500. Whereas in Eindhoven you could rent a 3 bedroom house with a garden for this price. Rents can be including or excluding utilities such as electricity, water and internet. So check beforehand. You will need to pay a security deposit, usually 2 months’ rent in case of breakages. Rental apartments in the Netherlands generally come unfurnished (kaal). This means no furniture but, also often no flooring, no light fittings and no kitchen appliances. You can also find soft-furnished properties which will have carpets, lights etc. but, no furniture or you can rent a furnished apartment with everything you need.

The contract

Amsterdam apartments for rent will usually have a 6 or 12 month contract with a 1-month notice of termination. Sometimes you can add a break out clause into the contract if you think it is likely you’ll need to leave on short notice. Make sure you read the contract carefully. Are utilities and service costs included? Ask for a yearly proof of costs to make sure you’re not being overcharged. Get an inventory of all furnishings etc. in the apartment and check their condition before you sign. Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance? Check what condition you need to leave the property in. Do you need to re-paint the walls for example? Read the terms and conditions regarding pets, visitors or parking restrictions. You may be asked for a reference from your employer or they could be asked to act as guarantor.

The Pitfalls of renting in the Netherlands

Read and check your contract thoroughly. Check the inventory, document any pre-existing damage, take photos etc. Illegal subletting is a problem in the Netherlands and if you do move into a sublet apartment you may not be allowed to register with the city and this could affect your residency. If a landlord will not provide you with a legal contract or asks for cash only payments then avoid them. A contract is only legal in the Netherlands if it is in Dutch so make sure you sign a Dutch version. The tenant is well protected in the Netherlands. The landlord cannot increase the rent by more than the rate of inflation. Tenancies are considered permanent in Holland, the owner cannot force you to leave if you don’t want to unless there is a very good reason or breach of contract. 

A place to call home

Finding a place to call home is one of the most exciting and time-consuming parts of moving abroad. Mundialz is here to give you support and advice during the relocation process. We are a community of professionals who have been through the process and we know what you need. So start searching for your perfect job and new home today.

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