Student Housing in The Netherlands: Complete Guide 2024


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The Dutch student housing market can be a maze, especially if you don’t speak the language. But worry not! The Netherlands is home to thousands of international students every year, and with the right information at hand, securing your ideal housing becomes a manageable task.

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This guide aims to provide you with comprehensive insights into student housing in the Netherlands.

Key Takeaways

  • The Netherlands offers diverse student housing options, from shared houses to university accommodations.
  • Balancing your budget with location and living preferences is crucial when seeking housing.
  • Understanding and respecting the lease contract enhances tenant-landlord relations.
  • Proximity to essential services and your university can significantly influence your daily life.
  • Being proactive and informed eases potential housing challenges faced by international students.

Types of Student Housing in the Netherlands

Navigating the student housing market in the Netherlands can initially feel overwhelming, especially given the vast array of options available. However, understanding these options can greatly simplify the process.

University Accommodations

Many universities in the Netherlands offer housing facilities, especially for international students. These can be in the form of on-campus dormitories or external housing secured by the university. They’re typically furnished, and some might offer amenities like communal kitchens or study areas.


  • Proximity to the university campus
  • Opportunity to connect with fellow students
  • Often streamlined with university processes and timelines

Things to consider:

  • There might be a waitlist or specific criteria to meet.
  • Duration might be limited to one academic year.

Private Shared Flats

A popular choice among students, shared flats involve renting a room in a larger apartment or house and sharing common spaces like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room with other students.


  • Often more affordable than living alone
  • A great way to socialize and make friends

Things to consider:

  • Understanding roommate agreements and responsibilities.
  • Privacy can be limited.

Studio Apartments

These are self-contained units with a bedroom, kitchenette, and bathroom. Ideal for those who prefer a private space.


  • Complete privacy
  • Independence in managing your living space

Things to consider:

  • Typically more expensive than shared accommodations.
  • Utilities might be separate from the rent.

Student Hotels

A rising trend, these are a hybrid between hotels and student dorms. They offer flexible short- to medium-term stays with facilities like cleaning, meals, and communal areas.


  • Flexibility in duration of stay
  • Many amenities and services included

Things to consider:

  • Could be pricier than traditional student housing options.
  • Might not offer the same “homey” feeling as other accommodations.

Short-term Leases and Sublets

For those who are uncertain about their stay duration or are looking for something temporary, short-term leases or subletting a room can be viable options.


  • Flexibility in commitments
  • Good for initial weeks of stay while looking for something long-term

Things to consider:

  • Stability, as you might need to move once the lease ends.
  • Ensure all subletting agreements are legitimate and approved by the main landlord.

Costs and Budgeting

Costs and Budgeting

One of the crucial steps in ensuring a smooth academic journey in the Netherlands is understanding the financial aspect of housing. Knowing how much to budget for your stay and where those finances will be allocated will not only keep you prepared but also allow for a more comfortable experience. Let’s delve into the costs associated with student housing in the Netherlands and how best to budget for them:

Average Rent Costs

The cost of student housing can vary based on the city, the type of accommodation, and its proximity to the university or city center. Typically:

University Accommodations: Can range from €300 to €600 per month.

Private Shared Flats: Expect to budget between €350 to €800 monthly, depending on location and amenities.

Studio Apartments: These usually fall in the €600 to €1,200 range per month.

Student Hotels: Costs can vary widely based on the services offered, but typically you might see prices from €600 to €1,000 monthly.

Additional Costs

Apart from the rent, there are other costs to factor into your budget:

Utilities: These include electricity, water, and gas. If not included in your rent, you might pay an additional €50 to €150 monthly.

Internet: A necessary utility for students; budget around €20 to €50 monthly.

City Taxes: This is a tax for using the city’s facilities and services. It can range from €100 to €500 annually, depending on the municipality.

Tips for Managing Your Budget

Early Planning: Begin your housing search early to get a feel for the market and to possibly secure more affordable options.

Consider Location: Sometimes, staying a bit farther from the city center or university can be more economical. Weigh the savings against commuting costs and convenience.

Shared Responsibilities: If you’re in shared housing, consider dividing costs like internet or utilities with your roommates.

Stay Informed: Keep an eye on local websites or student boards for any discounts, deals, or housing schemes targeted at students.

Set a Limit: Determine a comfortable monthly spending limit for yourself and try to find housing options that align with it.

Searching for Accommodation

Embarking on the quest to find the perfect student accommodation in the Netherlands can be both exciting and a bit daunting. But fret not, with the right resources and a touch of persistence, this process can be more seamless than you might think. Here’s a roadmap to guide you through your search:

Popular Platforms and Websites for Housing Searches

The internet is a treasure trove of resources for finding student accommodations in the Netherlands. Here are some platforms that come highly recommended:

Kamernet: A widely used platform where students can find rooms, shared apartments, or studios.

Pararius: A rental website that covers the whole of the Netherlands and offers a variety of housing options.

HousingAnywhere: Specifically tailored for international students, it’s an excellent place for short-term and medium-term accommodations.

Facebook Groups: There are numerous groups dedicated to housing in specific Dutch cities. These can be especially helpful for finding sublets or connecting with potential roommates.

Local Student Groups or Boards: Most universities have student organizations or international offices that assist students in finding housing. Some universities even have dedicated housing offices or offer lists of trusted landlords.

Importance of Starting Your Search Early

The demand for student housing, especially at the beginning of the academic year, can be high. Starting your search early can:

  • Provide you with a broader range of options.
  • Offer you the luxury of choice rather than settling due to time constraints.
  • Give you ample time to understand the housing market in your chosen city.

Some Additional Tips for a Successful Search

Personalize your Inquiries: When reaching out to potential landlords or roommates, a personalized message can make you stand out and show genuine interest.

Physical Visits (if possible): If you’re already in the Netherlands or can visit beforehand, it’s beneficial to see the place in person. If not, request a virtual tour or a video call.

Stay Alert for Scams: Unfortunately, there are occasional scams targeting students. Always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, and never send money without a verified contract or without seeing the place first.

Networking: Talk to seniors, alumni, or current students from your university. Personal experiences and recommendations can be invaluable.

Leasing and Contracts

Leasing and Contracts

Once you’ve found a suitable accommodation, the next significant step is understanding and finalizing the lease or contract. It might feel like wading into unfamiliar waters, especially when dealing with contracts in a foreign language, but with a bit of clarity and some proactive steps, you can navigate this with confidence.

Typical Leasing Procedures and Contract Terms to be Aware of

Dutch housing contracts may have terms and conditions different from what you’re accustomed to. Here’s what you should typically expect:

Duration: Most contracts specify a fixed period, often for 12 months. However, short-term contracts, especially for university accommodations or sublets, might be for 6 months or less.

Notice Period: This refers to the time you need to inform the landlord before leaving. It’s usually one month but can vary based on the agreement.

Rent Increases: The contract should clearly state if and when the rent can be increased and by what percentage.

Maintenance Responsibilities: It’s essential to know who’s responsible for what. Typically, small repairs might be the tenant’s responsibility, while significant issues are for the landlord.

Differences Between Dutch Contracts and Those from Other Countries

Inclusivity: In the Netherlands, rent can be quoted as “inclusive” or “exclusive”. Inclusive means it includes utilities and services, while exclusive means these are charged separately.

Subletting Clause: Most Dutch contracts explicitly state whether you’re allowed to sublet your room or apartment. Ensure you’re aware of this, especially if you’re considering this option in the future.

Registration: In the Netherlands, it’s often mandatory to register at your local municipality with your housing address. Ensure your contract permits this, as it’s crucial for legal residence and accessing various services.

Security Deposits and Return Conditions

Amount: It’s customary for landlords to ask for a security deposit, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent.

Return Conditions: The contract should clearly mention under what circumstances the deposit will be returned. This typically involves leaving the property in good condition, with allowances for regular wear and tear.

Key Tips for a Smooth Leasing Experience

Translation Assistance: If the contract isn’t in English, consider getting it translated. Some universities or student organizations might offer this service.

Ask Questions: If any terms seem unclear or ambiguous, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s vital to have a complete understanding before signing.

Document Everything: Before moving in, it might be helpful to take pictures of the property, noting any existing damages or issues. This can prevent potential disputes when moving out.

Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with tenant rights in the Netherlands. There are organizations and student services that offer advice on housing rights and can assist in disputes.

Locations and Proximity

Finding the right spot to call home isn’t just about the four walls and a roof—it’s also about where it’s located. The Netherlands, while relatively compact, offers diverse cities and neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and character.

Your experience as a student can be greatly influenced by the location of your housing, so understanding your surroundings is both practical and crucial for a fulfilling stay.

Choosing a City

While you might be drawn to the Netherlands for a specific university, it’s worth understanding the larger environment:

University Cities: Towns such as Groningen, Leiden, and Delft have a significant student population, which means a bustling, young atmosphere with plenty of student-oriented amenities and activities.

Metropolitan Areas: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague are larger cities that offer a rich cultural scene and a broader mix of experiences. However, housing might be pricier and more competitive.

Smaller Towns: If you prefer a quieter, more intimate setting, towns like Maastricht or Wageningen might be appealing. They provide a close-knit community feel, which can be comforting for international students.

Proximity to University and Commute

Your daily journey to and from the university can impact your student life:

On-campus Housing: Ideal for those who want the shortest commute, often just a walk or a bike ride away from classes.

Off-campus but Nearby: Staying in neighborhoods close to the university offers a balance. You get to experience more of the local life while having a short commute.

City Outskirts or Neighboring Towns: Sometimes more affordable, but consider transportation costs and time. The Netherlands has an efficient public transport system, making it feasible to live a bit further away.

Nearby Amenities and Facilities

For day-to-day convenience, consider:

Supermarkets and Grocery Stores: Essential for daily needs, especially if you plan on cooking.

Public Transport Stops: Proximity to tram, bus, or train stations can simplify commutes.

Recreational Areas: Parks, gyms, cinemas, or cultural centers can enrich your downtime.

Safety and Community

It’s essential to feel safe and welcomed in your chosen location:

Research: Look into the safety ratings or ask current students or local forums about specific areas.

Student Communities: Being close to other students or expats can offer a sense of camaraderie and shared experience.

Balancing Budget and Location

While city centers might be lively and offer numerous facilities, they could be pricier. Weigh the pros and cons, considering both your budget and desired experience.

Tips for a Smooth Move

Tips for a Smooth Move

The moment has arrived: you’ve secured your ideal accommodation in the Netherlands, and it’s time to make that space truly yours. Moving can be an exhilarating yet sometimes nerve-wracking experience, especially in a new country.

However, with some thoughtful preparation and the right approach, the process can be more streamlined and less daunting. Here’s how to ensure a smooth transition into your new Dutch home:

1. Plan Ahead

Packing List: Create a list of essential items you’ll need immediately after your move. This can range from personal documents to toiletries and a few days’ worth of clothing.

Research Local Stores: Identify nearby stores where you can purchase essentials upon arrival, like bedding, kitchen items, or groceries.

2. Arrange Transport

For International Students: Book your flight to arrive a few days before your university’s orientation or the lease’s starting date. This gives you a buffer to settle in.

Within the Netherlands: Consider renting a moving van if you have a lot of belongings or using public transport for lighter moves.

3. Understand Utility Set-Up

If utilities aren’t included in your rent, familiarize yourself with how to set them up. This might mean contacting providers for water, electricity, and internet.

4. Stay Connected

Ensure you have a working phone with a Dutch SIM card or an international roaming plan. Staying connected can be crucial during the move.

5. Personalize Your Space

Decorating your room or apartment can make it feel like home. Consider posters, photos, or even simple plants to infuse personal touches.

6. Register with the Local Municipality

Most Dutch cities require residents to register their addresses. Check the procedure and make it a priority within the first few days of your move.

7. Be Neighborly

Introduce yourself to your neighbors. A friendly introduction can pave the way for good relations and even local tips and advice.

8. Familiarize Yourself with the Area

Take a walk or a bike ride around your new neighborhood. Locate essential spots like the nearest supermarket, pharmacy, and public transport stops.

9. Keep Important Documents Accessible

Store essential documents like your passport, rental contract, university admission letter, and health insurance details in an easily accessible location.

10. Seek Support if Needed

Moving can be emotionally taxing. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out. Universities often have support services or counseling for students, especially international ones.

Rights and Responsibilities as a Tenant

Navigating your journey as a Netherlands tenant involves more than paying rent and enjoying your space. There’s a balance of rights that protect you and responsibilities you must uphold.

Understanding these aspects not only ensures a harmonious relationship with your landlord but also offers you a sense of empowerment and security during your stay. Let’s delve into what these rights and responsibilities entail:

Your Rights as a Tenant

Privacy: Your landlord typically cannot enter your home without your permission unless it’s an emergency or previously agreed upon.

Habitability: You have the right to a safe and livable environment. This means your accommodation should be free from significant defects, have adequate heating, and meet all health and safety standards.

Rent Control: Depending on the type and location of your housing, the rent might be subject to rent control regulations, ensuring it remains fair and reasonable.

Maintenance and Repairs: The landlord is generally responsible for major repairs and maintenance, ensuring the property remains in a good state.

Security Deposit Return: You should receive your security deposit back when you move out, provided you’ve met all terms of the lease and left the property in good condition.

Protection Against Unlawful Eviction: A landlord cannot simply evict a tenant without valid reasons and proper notice, ensuring you have stability and protection during your lease period.

Read more about tenant rights here.

Your Responsibilities as a Tenant

Timely Rent Payment: Ensure you pay your rent on time, as per the agreed-upon date in your lease.

Maintain the Property: While wear and tear is natural, it’s essential to maintain the property in good condition. This means cleaning regularly, avoiding causing damage, and promptly informing the landlord of any issues.

Follow Lease Terms: Abide by all the terms stipulated in your lease, which could include guidelines on pets, smoking, or subletting.

Provide Notice: If you decide to move out or not renew your lease, ensure you provide the appropriate notice as outlined in your contract.

Respect Neighbors: Being considerate of neighbors, whether it’s in terms of noise levels or shared spaces, fosters a harmonious living environment.

Inform About Extended Absence: If you plan to be away from your accommodation for an extended period, it’s courteous and sometimes required to inform your landlord.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Potential Challenges and Solutions

While the Netherlands offers a welcoming environment for international students, like any relocation, there can be hurdles in the housing journey.

Language BarrierUse translation apps or take basic Dutch lessons for better immersion.
Competitive Housing MarketStart early, leverage university resources and online platforms.
Unfamiliarity with Local Norms and EtiquetteEngage with locals and expats; respect punctuality and introductions.
Unfamiliarity with Rights and RegulationsUse university resources and non-profit organizations for guidance.
Adjusting to Climate and Living ConditionsInvest in rainwear; embrace and adapt to the local living style.
Unexpected Costs or Financial StrainsMaintain a contingency budget; understand all potential costs.
Feeling Isolated or HomesickEngage in university activities, build a local support system.

Recognizing these potential challenges, alongside proactive solutions, can make the transition smoother and more manageable. You’re not alone in facing these issues, and solutions often emerge with a bit of patience and persistence.

Language Barrier

Many Dutch people speak English, especially in urban areas and university settings. However, if you’re struggling, consider using translation apps or asking a Dutch-speaking friend for assistance. Over time, consider taking basic Dutch lessons—it can be an excellent way to immerse yourself in the culture.

Competitive Housing Market

Start your housing search early, especially if you’re aiming for popular student cities. Make use of university housing services, local online platforms, and even social media groups where offers are frequently posted.

Understanding Local Norms and Etiquette

The Netherlands has its own set of cultural norms. Simple actions like introducing yourself to neighbors or being punctual for appointments can go a long way. Engage with local students or expats—they can offer insights into the Dutch way of life.

Unfamiliarity with Rights and Regulations

Educate yourself on tenant rights in the Netherlands. Universities often provide resources, and there are also non-profit organizations that can guide international students. If in doubt, seek advice before making decisions.

Adjusting to the Climate and Living Conditions

The Dutch climate can be cool and rainy. Investing in good rainwear and learning to bike in such conditions can greatly enhance your experience. Additionally, Dutch homes might be different from what you’re used to in terms of size or layout. Embrace the local lifestyle, finding ways to make your space comfortable and functional.

Unexpected Costs or Financial Strains

Always have a contingency budget. Costs like utility bills, municipal taxes, or maintenance might pop up. Be proactive in understanding all potential costs and save a little extra for unforeseen expenses.

Feeling Isolated or Homesick

This is natural, especially in the early days. Engage with student groups, participate in university activities, and try to build a local support system. Stay connected with loved ones back home, but also push yourself to explore and engage with your new surroundings.

Embarking on a journey in a new country, with its own set of customs and challenges, is a commendable feat. Every student, whether local or international, faces their own set of hurdles. Challenges are also opportunities in disguise, allowing you to grow, adapt, and become more resilient.

With each obstacle you overcome, you’re not only getting closer to making the Netherlands a comfortable home but also building a repertoire of experiences that will serve you well in the future. Stay encouraged, seek support when needed, and cherish the adventure that unfolds.


Pieter van der Meer, our Lifestyle Coordinator at, embodies the vibrant and diverse Dutch lifestyle. Born and raised in Utrecht, Pieter has a deep-rooted love for his homeland, which reflects in his in-depth knowledge of the Netherlands’ culture, traditions, and lifestyle.

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