Things to keep in mind when renting in the Netherlands

Apartment hunting in the Netherlands? Then this article is especially for you!

Whether it's your first rental experience or your last, finding the perfect home in the Netherlands might turn out to be a bigger challenge than you thought, but I want to assure you - it's not your fault! The housing situation in the Netherlands is unfortunate, to say the least. But don't despair - you can still find a home that fits both your lifestyle and budget; you only need to keep in mind some key aspects that we explain further below.


First and foremost, decide what's your budget and what you can afford. Rental prices can vary a lot from one city to another, so it's good to research beforehand the average rental prices in the area where you want to move to. Randstad is by far the most expensive area to be living in the Netherlands, but it's also the most popular area with plenty of opportunities in terms of jobs and education.


Speaking about rental prices, the biggest influencer on the price is location. It is generally a lot cheaper to rent outside the city than in the center and considering the amazing public transportation in this country, as well as the cycling infrastructure, many people choose to live on the outskirts of a city. Regardless of location, it's really important that you visit the building and neighborhood before moving in, just to get a good impression of the surroundings and area you are about to move into.


Each rental listing should provide you with information about the furnishing situation in the apartment you're about to rent out. As a general rule, there are three types of furnishings you will notice: unfurnished, semi-furnished, and furnished. Unfurnished apartments will come with no furniture whatsoever, and without any floorings or curtains installed, (unless, of course, the listing states otherwise). Kitchen and bathroom facilities should be included though. If you are looking for an apartment without any furniture, but don't want to deal with the hassle of installing the floors, then you should opt for a semi-furnished residence. Furnished apartments typically include the main furniture you need for your stay, for example, a bed, a dining table, and some storage spaces. When renting a furnished apartment with Holland2Stay, you will get everything you need throughout your stay, including the little things such as cutlery, iron, or vacuum cleaner. Basically, everything is included, except for linen!


When renting an unfurnished apartment, usually you will have to arrange the utilities on your own. If your utilities are arranged by your landlord, you will pay a fixed amount for all utilities, which is calculated on the basis of average household consumption. Then, at the end of the year, you will receive a so-called settlement bill. Here, you will be able to see a detailed comparison of what you have paid for versus what you have actually consumed throughout the past year. This is common practice in the Netherlands, so much so that utility companies themselves work on the same 'advanced payment' basis.


Most contracts in the Netherlands will be drawn up for a standard duration of a minimum of 12 months. After this period, your contract will typically be extended indefinitely, unless stated otherwise in your agreement. Short-stay contracts are actually not very common, which makes the short-stay rental at Holland2Stay a great option for expats.


Though it is common to view a residence before renting it, in the Netherlands, you will often stumble upon companies that do not offer viewings. You might think this is weird but it is actually starting to become more and more common. At Holland2Stay, we don't always offer the possibility of viewing, but recently we started using 360 tours to give our soon-to-be residents a better impression of what their future homes will look like. Viewing or not, make sure to always visit the building where the apartment is located, the area, and the local office of the company you will be renting from.


written by Ana

I'm a cheerful and curious person, passionate about photography and everything that comes with it. As a fellow international, I moved to The Netherlands to study and decided to stay here after falling deeply in love with the culture, people and the beautiful Dutch cities and their canals!