Renting a property

Looking to rent an apartment or house in the Netherlands? Learn more about the quirks of the Dutch rental market.

Rules for renting a house in the Netherlands can be complicated and all Dutch rental properties with a bare rent up to 710,- are social housing with restricted allocation. Renting a non independent property can be a solution for Expats with a low budget. But take care when choosing a property to rent in the Netherlands. Knowing the quirks and rules of the Dutch rental market can help you avoid renting an illegal property and what to expect when signing a rental contract. Your relocation agent will advise you.

Guide to renting a house or apartment

Just over 40 percent of Dutch people rent their homes, and the country has a high level of social housing. Rents are assessed and controlled for low-value properties, and in the Amsterdam-haarlem area there are restrictions on who is allowed to live where, giving priority to those with a strong connection to the area, such as having been born there, having family in the area or working nearby.

Finding a property to rent

Social housing is by application to a central body, however few expats qualify for this. Therefore, flat hunting is similar to most other countries. Online property portals are popular, but unfortunately lots of portals are solely built to generate traffic and copy each others stock. These sites are designed to sell subscriptions rather than offer properties. For 20 euro’s or so each month you have the right to respond to properties. Subscriptions generally last 3 to 6 months so take care! We don’t know of anyone to have found a property this way but probably some people get lucky.

What you should know about online property

By law a tenant can assume that a property offered online by a letting agency is free of commission cost as the agent should have a letting order of the landlord. It’s also allowed for agencies to copy publications from other sites as long as the tenant has a (theoretical) chance to reach out to the landlord personally. As a result everybody is copying everything and you will find the same property on multiple sites not knowing who is actually offering it or if it is still available.

If you want to save time and don’t mind paying a fee you better use our homefinding programme. Our agents have expert market knowledge and will be able to get you a home quick and conveniently.

Found a property? How to get it?

The Netherlands is densely populated and competition for attractive properties in popular areas is fierce. For that reason properties in lower rent categories are seldom offered to agents. Landlords can rent them out themselves easily. RelocateMe has a database containing 2500 landlords in the area. We present our candidates directly. As a result, you will have a better chance for succes. But even our agents have to operate quick and decisive, so be ready to sign when you spot the property you want.

Short stay rentals

In Amsterdam, it is illegal to rent a property for a period of less than six months without a special licence. However, the law is often flouted and this can cause significant problems for tenants.

Throughout the country, short-term lets, holiday homes and aparthotels are common. Websites catering to tourists are often in English and can be a good resource to find a place to live for a few weeks, although prices are typically fairly high. You can sublet a property, but this is riskier – due to restrictions on residency by co-operatives and certain municipalities, you may not have the right to live in the property and have little legal recourse in case of eviction or malpractice.

Some portals for short stay apartments:

Tenant's rights

Dutch law is mostly in favour of the tenant, not the landlord, and there are fixed processes for all sorts of disputes. If you’ve found a home through our services we will be happy to advise in case a dispute arises.