Student housing in Holland – this is how it works
- Start your search as early as possible and don’t wait until your formal admittance;
- It will always be your own responsibility to find a suitable room/apartment;
- Educational organisations or municipalities rarely offer housing (only very few exceptions to this rule. Make sure to check upfront for confirmation on this);
- The Hague as a geographical area has a fundamental shortage of student housing facilities;
- Bottleneck: first half of the college year – August through January;
- Most educational organisations have an International Office or even a Housing Officer where further advice can be obtained.
What else you should know about Student Housing!
With over 30,000 students looking for housing in an area with a shortage of accommodations, it will be a challenge to find a room in The Hague. Whoever expects to simply find accommodation in August, is bound to be unpleasantly surprised. It is therefore imminent to start your search for your room timely. In the Netherlands, educational institutions do not provide housing. This has to be done by students themselves. Furthermore, campuses are absent in almost all cases. In order to assist you in your search, you will find some useful information and tips here.
What type of housing accommodations are available for students?
- Rooms in student houses, offering shared living facilities, either furnished or not;
- Apartment or studio, sometimes to be shared – either furnished or not;
- Hostels or hotels.
Who offers long-term residence in The Hague?
All information on this portal is aimed at international students, entering into long-term (3-4 years) education courses in The Hague. The hardest time to find a room is at the start of the college year.
DUWO is the largest housing association for students: www.duwo.nl.
Word of advice: Enter your registration at DUWO immediately after registration for your study/course through www.room.nl. There will be a one-off entry fee of €35. After payment you will be able to subscribe for available rooms. These will be assigned based on order of entry. It is not unthinkable that you will not be eligible for a room in the first year, but will be in the following college years. DUWO also offers ‘short stay’ accommodation for a maximum duration of 1 year. Make sure to check if you are eligible a short stay room through your educational institution and through DUWO’s website.
Other housing suppliers
- Real-estate or commercial offerors – this is usually the most used option.
www.room-to-rent.nl – furnished rooms in Voorburg, suburb of The Hague
- Private persons
- Groups on Facebook
- Housing associations: waiting lists of (average) 6 years, make it a useless exercise for students to look for a room here.
Options for short stay
In order to find a suitable temporary housing solution, it is worth looking for rooms that are sublet through www.housinganywhere.com.
Here are some general useful tips
- Once again: start your search early.
- Also consider area’s outside of the city center of The Hague or even outside of The Hague in one of the surrounding smaller villages, such as Leidschendam-Voorburg, Rijswijk, Delft or in the Westland area.
- Do you know people living in The Hague? Involve them in your search.
- Connect through social media with international students in The Hague.
- Subscribe to (international) student associations.
- Benefit from discounts using an ESN card: esncard.org.
- When viewing a particular room, make sure to bring along someone experienced in these matters.
- Do not pay any rent in cash unless you get a proper payment receipt.
- Do not transfer any substantial pre-payments, prior to having viewed the room or apartment.
What other important considerations?
Did you find yourself an accommodation? Make sure to register yourself upon arrival at the respective municipality. Your educational institution will often offer to assist you in setting up an appointment. General information about this can be found on this page of the muncipality website.
- When you require a residential permit and/or a visa, your educational organisation will usually file for your appliance, assuming that you meet all requirements. Your educational institution will supply you with all relevant information. More general information can be found on the website of the Dutch immigration authority: www.ind.nl
- Make sure to have the appropriate level of health and liability insurances: www.studyinholland.nl/prepare/insurance
- More general information about studying in the Netherlands: www.studyinholland.nl
Be aware: not all ads scan be trusted, recognize a rental scam
So, you think you’ve found suitable rental accommodation. That’s great! But before agreeing to anything, follow the advice below to make sure you don’t fall victim to a rental scam.
- Make sure the accommodation is being rented out via an official website or company.
- Check out the address in Google maps, to make sure it really exists.
- Scammers often use stolen identities. Search for their photo online. Make an appointment to meet in person or through Skype. Make sure the landlord is actually the person he/she claims to be.
- Never send a copy of your passport or credit/debit card to strangers.
- As housing is scarce, you might receive unwanted e-mails from scammers trying to rent out (non-existing) accommodation. Be aware of unsolicited e-mails.
- Never sign a housing contract without having first read it carefully. Be sure you fully understand and agree with what you are signing. Get someone to translate it for you if necessary.
Possible signs of a rental scam
- You have to pay rent (or other costs) in advance, without having seen the apartment or having met the landlord/agency staff.
- You have to transfer money to a non-Dutch bank account.
- The rental price is much lower than other apartments in the same area/location.
- The pictures sent do not resemble the location in any way.
- The landlord/agency is too eager or pushy to rent the apartment to you.
- You have a bad feeling about the landlord/agency or how things are proceeding.
What if you have been scammed?
If you have been scammed, don’t lose hope of finding another apartment. Always contact the police to let them know what has happened. They might be able to find the scammer and prevent others being caught out.
Use a Dutch phone to call the followling numbers: Emergency: 112 | No emergency 0900 - 88 44.
What to keep in mind before signing a rental agreement?
- Check accuracy of all information: name renter, rentee, correct address, correct agreed rental price, start date, etc;
- What is or is not included in the rental price? F.e. gas, electricity and water, service fees, city taxes, etc.;
- Is the room furnished? If so, additional take-over cost might be part of the arrangement, unless this is included in the rental fee. If this is the case, make sure to have this documented in the rental contract;
- When and how is payment due?;
- Is the rent for a defined or undefined rental period?
- What is the rental notice period?
- Check for smoke detectors, CO2-detectors and fire escape routes;
- Register the state of the room or apartment in a separate document, including pictures;
- In what way has the lessor/landlord assured the rented property? What potential insurance does the renter have to take?
- Be aware of the fact that some commercial property owners might be charging a one-off service fee.
Where to go in case of a dispute with your landlord?
When you find yourself in a conflict with your landlord or when you experience issues with your neighbours that you cannot resolve amicably? You can contact:
- Fair Rent Team
- Real about Rent
- Complaint line DUWO
- Haagse Pandbrigade
- Reporting- and support line domestic disturbance
- The Hague International Centre
- Reporting point ‘Access’ (The Hague International Centre)
How to contact the International Office of your educational institution
Most institutions have an International Office and/or a dedicated housing officer. They will provide you with support and can answer questions.
University of the Arts The Hague
- Royal Conservatory: How to survive The Hague
- Royal Academy of Art: What to arrange for housing
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org