There is simply not enough accommodation available to satisfy demand. Also in student cities like Leiden and Groningen, it can be very difficult. The demand for rentals is very high due to property prices; buying a house in Holland has become extremely expensive in the last few years.
Prices of rental properties have gone up over the last few years. Many new rental properties are being constructed, however, these are only replacing older properties that are being demolished. So be prepaired to pay a lot for a good property. For a one bedroom apartment in the centre of Amsterdam you will have to pay approximately €800/month.
On the positive side, there is good rent protection for tenants. The value of property is calculated on a points based system (number of rooms, space, central heating, etc.). Landlords needs to obey this points system for rental charges, but it is only applicable to certain (cheaper) types of property, and there usually is a long waiting list for these homes. For information on these types of property, you can contact the local Rent Commission ( Huurcommissie).
Rent Subsidy (Huurtoeslag)
If you are very lucky, and find a place costing from €226.98-€699.48/month (unlikely), you may receive a rent subsidy. Meaning, 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.
For more information about rent subsidies:
- http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/ (in Dutch)
- You can also obtain assistance from the Huurcommissie by calling 0031 77 465 67 67.