What you should know about student housing

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 institutes often reserve furnished housing for international students with local student housing corporations. Availability is limited though, so be sure to check with your educational institution in time if you can apply for housing through them;
  • 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;
  • Are you going to rent a residential property from a private individual? And is the basic rent below € 950,-? Or does the rental property have 185 points or less under the rental valuation system? Then you need an affordable housing permit. Apply for this on time at the municipality. This affordable housing permit is not necessary when renting a hospita-room or other independant living-space.

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 other important considerations?

Did you find yourself an accommodation? Make sure to register yourself upon arrival at the respective municipality. You need permission of your housing agency or landlord to register on the address. And you need the registration for your BSN: your citizen service number, which all government authorities and health insurances use to identify you.

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. Note: letters and bills regarding these affairs will be in Dutch – you can contact Youth Information Point for guidance;
  • 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.

Click here for an example of a rent agreement.

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? 

  • Call in the services of the Fair Rent Team if you think you are paying too much rent or if you're having problems with the landlord concerning the service charges or maintenance of your rental property.
  • Do a quick fair rent check via Real about Rent.
  • Do you rent form DUWO and do you have a request for a repair or a complaint? Reach out: DUWO.
  • Contact The Hague Housing Inspection Bureau of the municipality to report domestic nuisance and overdue maintenance. Their mission: to improve the quality of life and safety in The Hague’s neighbourhoods.
  • The Juridisch Loket is your first stop for (free) legal aid from the central government (Dutch website, English assistance).

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

The Hague University of Applied Sciences

International Institute of Social Studies

Technical University Delft

Hotelschool The Hague

Inholland University of Applied Sciences

Leiden University, Campus The Hague