Renting a house

For assignments of less than three years, it might be better to rent. Rental costs are fixed, contracts can be ended if you need to go back home, and the headaches of repairs and maintenance are the property owner's responsibility. Also, there is no loss through having to resell before your costs can be covered, nor the hassle of waiting for the property to sell should the market be slow again.


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

  • Kaal (Unfurnished) - There are no carpets, curtains, light fittings, etc., though there probably will be a fitted kitchen. Built-in appliances such as a cooker and possibly a fridge or dishwasher may be present. 
  • Gestoffeerd (softly furnished) -  The fittings will include carpets and curtains. 
  • Gemeubileerd (furnished) - generally including appliances, cutlery, crockery, bed linen, etc.  

Private rentals

Estate agents and ‘high street' housing agencies manage private rental housing. The rental price for these houses is considerably higher than accommodation found through a municipal housing agency or a housing association, but in general, these houses are available for immediate tenancy. 


Type of housing Rental price per month (indication)
Studio apartment   €300 - €800
Two-bedroom apartment €600 - €1200
Three-bedroom terraced house       €1000 - €1500
Semi-detached house > €1200
Detached house > €1750


Also, many private owners are offering their houses. These are usually good opportunities where the terms of renting can always be discussed. Often, these houses/apartments are being offered furnished and equipped. Another advantage is that no mediating agent is involved which keeps the initial costs down. At the start of a rental period a deposit will almost always be charged, equal to 1 or 2 month's rent. This amount will be partly repaid to you when you leave the house/apartment in good order.


Housing co-opertations

These provide slightly more expensive housing than the municipal agencies and again have long waiting lists. You need to register on arrival. The average waiting time in the rural areas is about 3 years. In the urban area, the waiting time is even longer and is somewhere in between 4-7 years. Housing Associations are more expensive than Municipal housing agencies, but still relatively cheap (€350 to €900 per month, unfurnished).


Municipal housing agencies

Municipal housing is not very common in the South Netherlands. You can only register for local authority housing after arrival in the Netherlands and must wait for a house to be allocated to you. Be aware that the average waiting time lists often exceed 3- 4 years at least. Housing is relatively cheap (€400 to €800 per month, unfurnished). However, to qualify for this type of housing your income generally must be within certain amount limits.  


The Rental contract

Dutch housing rental contracts generally consist of the actual contract plus ‘General Terms and Conditions'. The latter document is standard for all properties rented by the agency in question. Major points to look for in the contract are:


  • The correct rental price (whether it includes service charges and energy bills, etc.)
  • The correct deposit (one or two months rent is normal)
  • The correct date of entry
  • Duration of the contract. Most are fixed for one year, with a notice period of one month from either party thereafter. If the house belongs to someone who might want it back at an inconvenient time (e.g. someone on assignment outside the Netherlands), it may be better to fix the contract for a longer period.
  • Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs? Make sure it is clear who looks after the garden as well as the building;
  • The ‘diplomatic clause'. It is advisable for expats to insist on a clause allowing them to break the contract quickly if they need to return to their home country unexpectedly. 

However, most estate agencies all work with different conditions. We can make the following distinction:


  • Agencies owning the estates (or so called housing co-operations). They will not charge any mediation costs, or a small amount only as being administration costs. The rent can be agreed upon for an indefinite period of time. The houses / apartments will be delivered without upholstering. In some cases, the former tenant offers to sell the upholstering (partly) or some appliances to the new tenant.
  • Agencies only mediating between the owner and tenant* (or so called commercial agencies). They will charge 1 or 2 months mediation costs. The houses/apartments will often be delivered with upholstering and possibly with furniture and home-appliances, for which payment can be asked. Also a deposit can be charged. As these housings usually have private owners, the rent can be agreed upon for a fixed period of time.

*Because there is a conflict of interest, between the landlord and the tenant, agencies are not allowed to represent both parties at the same time. They can only represent either the landlord or the tenant. This has been determined by several judges, as well as by the Dutch consumer authority ACM (Autoriteit Consument en Markt). The agency is only allowed to charge the party they are allowed to represent. If that is the landlord then the agency cannot charge the tenant, and the tenant does not have to pay the agency. If the tenant has already paid he/she can claim a refund.


In case your income is relatively low in proportion to the rent costs of your house, there is a rent benefit that is granted by the government as compensation for your costs. For more information about rent benefit check the Taxation section.


Rental agencies 

If you are interested in renting a house or apartment, contact a makelaar (real estate agent.)







Previous pageNext page

Close x

Need assistance?

Please feel free to send us your question or stop by the Expat Center!

We are happy to assist you!