Short stay accommodation or start renting at once?

This is the question expats ask themselves often. Staying in a short stay accommodation has the advantage that it’s furnished and flexibel in the rental period. Renting a property at once (even start the lease from abroad) can be done, but has it’s downsides. We give you some tips in this section on housing.

Renting in the Netherlands

The most common option for expats is renting a property in the private sector. Private rental accommodation is not subsidised and there are no pre-conditions for your eligibility. You will need a residence permit and often a social security number (BSN).
Some people want to start the lease while still abroad. This is possible, but can be tricky as you haven’t seen the property yourself, have no feeling for the neighborhood and the lease period is fixed for 1 year. The Expat Center recommends to stay in a short stay property first and start looking for a permanent house from there.

Short stay

In case you haven’t found a suitable property before arrival you can book a short stay accommodation in the area. During this short stay period you can get used to your new environment and find a nice house for the remaining period of your stay.
These short stay houses are fully furnished and have flexible rental contracts. The size of these properties varies from a studio apartment to family houses and are located in the city centre and in the smaller villages. NOTE: make sure you can register on the address in order to get your social security number (BSN) when registering with the municipality. Properties like B&B or AirBnB’s usually don’t offer this possibility.
Another option is to book a hotel first and search from there.

Finding permanent accommodation

To help you find a rental property, we suggest you try:

For more information about housing please click here.

In the private sector, landlords will ask for a deposit, which is usually the equivalent of one or two months rent. As for contracts, tenancy agreements can be concluded for fixed periods of time. You should always read your tenancy agreement carefully, so ask for a copy in English. You will however always sign a Dutch version.