Finding your own place to live in Amsterdam can be a challenge. However, with some basic knowledge of housing system and rights, search and the right advice, you can find your perfect home in the city.
Accommodation options in Amsterdam
#1 Renting in the private sector
One of the most common options for expats in Amsterdam is renting property in the private sector. Private rental accommodation is not subsidised and there are no pre-conditions for your eligibility and in most cases, you’ll need a residence permit.
How to find a rental property?
There are plenty of specialised rental agencies in Amsterdam, but before you sign anything, make sure your agency has a licence from the municipal authorities. There are also online housing sites and estate agents called makelaars.
Moreover, you should join such Facebook groups as Expat in Amsterdam, The Amsterdam Expats Meetup Group and I need a room/roommates in Amsterdam where people share the accommodation advertisement links with everyone. If not, try to look for your place at HousingAnywhere. It’s a good website to start with.
In the private sector, landlords usually ask for a deposit (the equivalent of one or two months’ rent). Your tenancy agreement can be concluded for fixed periods of time (usually a minimum of 3 months), so please do read your tenancy agreement carefully.
Rooftrack is an initiative of WoningNet and offers a wide range of available properties in the non-subsidised rental market. Rooftrack’s website (available in Dutch and English) displays rental properties from both housing corporations as well as professional property management firms in the cities of Amsterdam, Almere, Haarlem and Utrecht.
In terms of rent, depending of a place, the prices vary from 300 euro to even 700 euro a month (bills included). You can easily rent a house with 4 friends and pay approximately 350 euro a month for your room located 8 km from the city center. However, it’s a bit risky. You may not like your roommates or registration at the City Hall may not be possible. Therefore, the best idea is to come to Amsterdam and check out different rooms by yourself.
To work or study legally in the Netherlands, you need to have a BSN – special identification number (the citizen service number). In order to get a BSN, you need to register at the Town Hall (Gemeente) by booking an appointment in advance. Before you book your appointment though, you are asked to fill in the online application form at Expatcenter website. It takes approximately 5 minutes to do so and then you can call the center directly to schedule your appointment. To register you need a birth certificate (translated to English or Dutch), contract for a house and a job contract or university acceptance letter. Within 2 weeks you’re going to receive your BSN by mail. Some places cannot be registered so make sure to check it out before you decide to move. You can’t do anything without your BSN (no bank account, no legal job contract, no insurance, etc.).
#5 My place
I found my own place thanks to a fellow travel blogger – Anna of Anna Everywhere. I’m currently staying at private student accommodation called the Student Hotel located at 335 Jan van Galenstraat. It is located 4 km from the city center of Amsterdam and it takes me about 25 minutes by bike to get there. There is a metro station and trams nearby so you can reach the city center within 10 minutes by local transportation. Although my room is small (15m2), I absolutely love it. It’s cozy, clean and brand new. The rent is 650 euro a month and I signed the contract for 10 months.
TSH offers state-of-the-art shared facilities as part of their all-inclusive rates. There are comfortable study rooms, library, and lounges, games rooms, an outdoor basketball court, and summer terrace for BBQs. I also have free access to an on-site private gym and I’ve received my own bike to use during my stay. I share a huge kitchen with 10 people where we cook together, chat and party from time to time. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything I need to prepare my meals – toaster, kettle, microwave and cooker.
It is very important for everyone who rents a home/ room in Amsterdam to know what their rights are. What to look out for when renting a house or apartment in Amsterdam? The supply of residential accommodation in the city fluctuates greatly. At times there is a housing shortage which can lead to elevated rental prices. It is therefore important to know your rights. Always make sure to read your tenancy agreement carefully before signing as six months into the contract many rights may have or could soon expire.
Should anything go wrong, the Dutch law has many rules in place to protect you as a tenant. For example, your landlord cannot simply evict you from your home. If you do not reach an agreement, only a court can terminate the lease.
WijksteunpuntenWonen (WsW) is a great contact for information relating to tenancy rights and people looking for housing. WsW is an independent organisation regarding renting and housing.
Things to know:
- As a tenant, you have rights, regardless of what’s written in your contract/lease.
- There are rules regarding rent control, furnishing and service charges.
- Housing agencies in Amsterdam have to abide by the rules and can be held accountable if you are being overcharged.
- So-called temporary leases often in fact aren’t actually temporary.
- You can make the landlord do the necessary maintenance.
- You cannot be evicted from your home for starting legal procedures.
- Charging a key fee (sleutelgeld) is illegal. The departing tenant or landlord may however ask you for this, do not pay.
Where to find help?
In the Netherlands there is an independent organisation that deals with problems between tenants and landlords called the Rent Tribunal (huurcommissie). The Rent Tribunal can also rule on disputes between you and your landlord.
Amsterdam Steunpunt Wonen – Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 32 – 1012 RZ Amsterdam – +31 (o)20 – 5230130 – [email protected] – www.steunpuntwonen.nl
If you need some help with finding your own place in Amsterdam or nearby areas, shoot me a message so I can help you out.
31 thoughts on “Moving To Amsterdam: Finding Accommodation And Housing Rights”
Fabulous guide Angess and welcome to Amsterdam!
You’ve certainly highlighted a lot of complex areas which a stranger to the place wouldn’t know about. I remember reading a while ago from Anna Everywhere of the problems she’s encountered as a foreigner in The Netherlands so you have a good ally there.
It looks as though you’ve found a very comfortable spot and hopefully it will be trouble free.
Thank you!!! :-)
that’s so great. This is such good information for anyone moving there and it looks like you’re doing great. Hope school is awesome
Wow Agness, it sounds rather complicated to get an apartment in Amsterdam! 6.500 euro for ten months sounds like quite a word, especially after living for little money around the world. But at least your new place looks really cool and it’s great to hear that you are feeling right at home. Just looking at your room, where is your language learning battlefield wall? ;)
Yes, the prices are high here and surviving for less than $25 a day is impossible, but I try not to spend too much money when visiting different places around Amsterdam and I’ve been doing just fine :D!
Great tips! Your place looks nice and cozy and the perfect stop to spend 10 months while studying! Hope student life is treating you well!!
Thank you Constance. I really enjoy myself here. It’s great to be back at uni, trust me :-).
Really useful info Agness, you look all settled in there. It looks like a really nice, clean place. here’s to the next adventure?
Andrew, Cez’s in China! I moved to Amsterdam on my own, but we keep in touch and can’t wait to see each other next year somewhere in the world.
Your hostel definitely looks much better than the one I had in UK when I was schooling :D
10 people sharing 4 refrigerators? That’s awesome!
We’re like a big family here!!!!
Wow, Amsterdam is expensive. Good luck with your move and life in Amsterdam! Hope it all goes well for you. :)
Yes, it’s pretty expensive, but I’ve got part-time job :).
Coop post, such great info for anyone who is thinking of moving there. :) You look fabulous too, life in Amsterdam is working for you. :)
I’m super happy here!! <3
A great guide. Moving house can be a daunting prospect in any country, but especially if the country is not your own! Great work Agness!
Your new place looks great – love how modern and clean everything looks! Great that you lounges and game rooms too, looks perfect for an expat!
That kitchen is huge and it looks like it has everything you can possibly need to cook. I’m glad to see that you settled in very well and you are pretty happy with your place :)
Excellent tips, and the place looks so nice and cozy and the added sense of community is a great plus.
Great and comprehensive guide, Agness! Your new place looks cosy :)
Glad to see you’ve settled in so well mate. Your accommodation looks ace too. I wish I could have found somewhere that cool when I was a student haha!
Thanks! Great to see you in Portugal :D!!
So, you are into schooling? That’s fantastic! Your room looks very comfy,too. :)
Yes, I’m back at uni now. Really enjoying it! Thank you!
Your place looks great. I would love to live in Amsterdam one day. :)
Thanks a lot Lorenzo!
The apartment looks lovely :)
Renting one’s own apartment abroad is a delicate issue.
First: there’s the rent, then there are utility expenses and you also have to feed yourself.
An apartment like this is a good catch in a beautiful (and expensive) city like Amsterdam.
Ahh this is a good read, thanks for this. I may need it in the future
Thanks Sammi. Hope you can visit Amsterdam soon :-).
Aaahh I just found your Amsterdam articles – I’m moving in the next month so this one is incredibly useful!! Thanks for the great tips! I’ve also found another website… Kamernet, which I’ve found really useful! Although the Student Hotel has got a great reputation! Thanks again!