The Rental Market

Housing options and prices in the Netherlands

Finding a place to live is not easy in the Netherlands, especially in the larger cities such as Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

There is simply not enough accommodation available to satisfy demand. Also in student cities like Leiden and Groningen, it can be very difficult.

Over the past few years the Dutch housing market has had its ups and downs. House prices have fallen since the 2008 financial crisis, however, this had no effect on the rental prices due to growing demand. So be prepared to pay a lot for a good property. For a one bedroom apartment in the centre of Amsterdam you will have to pay approximately €1215,93/month.

Even though house prices have risen in 2015, the mortgage interest rates and property prices are still low compared to the ones of 10 years ago. This makes buying a house more attractive, however, buying a property can take several months and costs will be higher. Therefore it is recommended to rent if you’re planning to stay for less than three years.

Social Housing and Private Housing

Dutch rental properties fall under one of two categories: social housing (subsidised) and the more expensive free or private housing. Around 75 percent of the 3 million rental properties are owned by housing associations who are responsible for letting social housing. Social rental houses have a maximum monthly rent of €710,68 capped by law. The value of a property is calculated on a points based system (number of rooms, space, central heating, etc.) which sets a base rental rate for social properties and serves as a guideline for properties over that value.  

However, you also have to meet strict criteria in order to be eligible for social housing. There is a household income limit and in some areas there are allocation restrictions. On top of that, long waiting lists which are usually three years makes social housing for expats almost impossible. This means that renting a property in the free market sector is the most favourable only option. For information on these types of property, you can contact the local Rent Commission (Huurcommissie) or go to the government website .

Housing Benefit (Huurtoeslag)

Housing benefit is a subsidy provided by the Dutch government to residents who have a low income and have high rental costs. This means the government will pay part of your rent. Whether you will receive rent subsidy depends on a number of factors such as your income, assets, age, family dependents, etc. To be eligible for housing benefit, your rent must not surpass the limit of €710,68 a month. To know if you qualify for this benefit or want to apply for it please contact the Dutch Tax Administration  

More Information

For more information about social and private housing or housing benefit:

  • If you have any complaints about the rent, maintenance and/or service fee charges or want extensive information you can also obtain assistance from the Huurcommissie (Rental Tribunal) by calling 0031 77 465 67 67 or by going to their website  (available in Dutch only)

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