Renting a house

As an expat in the Netherlands you will most likely rent a house or apartment. Basically there are two types of rentals: social renting through a housing association and private renting through a real estate agent. In both cases be aware of the composition of the rent. The rent can include or exclude the cost for gas, water and electricity and in social renting you might have to pay local taxes for garbage and sewer.

Houses and apartments for rent are available in three different states of furnishing:

  • Bare (kaal): there are no carpets, curtains, light fittings, etc., though there will probably be a fitted kitchen. Sometimes the rooms needs to be (re)painted.
    Soft-furnished (gestoffeerd): like the ‘bare’ category, but with carpets and curtains and sometimes a more complete kitchen.
    Furnished (gemeubileerd): generally includes all of the above, plus furniture, appliances, cutlery, crockery, bed linen, etc.

Private rentals

Estate agents manage private rental housing. The rental price for these houses is considerably higher than accommodation found through a social housing association, but in general these houses are available for immediate tenancy and there are no requirements regarding income. The owner can however require a minimum income to make sure you can pay for the house.

Rent varies widely, but you could expect to pay the following (excluding service costs and utilities):

Type of housing with rental price per month (indication):

  • Studio apartment € 500 – € 800
  • Two-bedroom apartment € 800 – € 1200
  • Three-bedroom terraced house € 1000 – € 1450
  • Semi-detached house > € 900
  • Detached house > € 1200

Useful website for searching houses:

Housing associations

Rental houses offered by social housing associations are houses meant for people with a low or medium income. You have to register with the association upon arrival in the Netherlands to become entitled to a house. Be aware that there can be a waiting list, but some associations work with lottery systems where the computer randomly picks one of the people that subscribed to the house. Rental costs are relatively low (€ 300 to € 700 per month, unfurnished).