FIRST OF ALL
DON’T REACH FOR THE SKY
Just moving to Amsterdam as a first year student,
but aiming to live along the canals? That probably won’t happen. You should be able to find something
in one of the less popular neighborhoods outside the ring highway or one of the student complexes. Most students start out in a smaller room further away from the city center. The longer you are enrolled in housing platforms and the more people you know, the better the rooms are that you will be offered.
TYPES OF HOUSING AND CONTRACTS
A lot of different types of housing are being offered in Amsterdam. There is a difference between independent housing and shared housing and
there are different types of landlords and forms of contracts. Make sure you know what you are dealing with so you know your rights.
A lot of student housing in Amsterdam is owned
by housing corporations. These organisations have as their primary goal to realise housing for people with low incomes. Their student housing is therefore often affordable. Most of the student housing from these corporations involves a campus contract. This means that you have to leave the housing when you are done studying in Amsterdam.
Besides there are a lot of houses offered by private landlords. These rooms are to be found all around the city, for example in a student house or with a family. When more than two persons live at the same address, who are not a family, this is called house sharing. In Amsterdam a landlord needs to meet certain regulations and have a permit to do this.
For you as a tenant the main concern is that you cannot rent together on one contract but that every tennant has a separate contract with the landlord. Besides, it is important you are allowed to register with the municipality. Does the landlord not allow this? Then chances are they are renting out illegally.
NETWORKING IS KEY
Make sure everyone knows you’re looking for a room – your friends, your social media followers, your fellow students, neighbors, family friends and so on. If a room opens up, you will hopefully be the first one that people will contact! Student associations often have houses that you can get into if you’re a member. Also make sure strangers know you are looking for a room. Go to the city and put up an advertisement in supermarkets, libraries and education facilities. It works!
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Due to the shortage of student housing, landlords are in a luxury position. Some abuse this position, for example by asking unlawfully high rent prices or by not carrying out sufficient maintanance. Tenants enjoy a lot of rights in
the Netherlands. For example, a point system dictates the maximum rent that can be asked for a room. A landlord is allowed to ask for a deposit, but a landlord or agency cannot charge any fees like a ‘key fee’ or administrative fees that won’t be refunded. Besides it is often not allowed to offer temporary contracts. By learning about these rules you make sure landlords won’t mistreat you and that you won’t pay too much.
You can find more information about tenanancy rights on www.wooninfo.nl/english.
A simple check to see if your room meets
the legal requirements can be found on www. dutchstudentunion.nl/rentcheck. Is your rent too high or are you being or is your landlord mistreating you in another way? Contact WOON! Through www.wooninfo.nl/english or ask for free advice from the ASVA legal desk firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadly, landlords do sometimes discriminate against international students. Discrimination is illegal and we suggest you notify ESN Amsterdam if this happened to you.
DON’T BET ON ONE HORSE
Sign up for housing corporations through ROOM or Studentenwoningweb, try to find something through an agency, respond to advertisements on Kamernet and Facebook, stalk everyone you know. In other words: look in as many places as possible and your chances to succeed will be as large as possible!
STUDENTENWONINGWEB AND ROOM
As soon as you know that you’re going to study in Amsterdam, sign up with Studentenwoningweb. They offer student housing from four large housing corporations. Houses are allotted according to the length of your membership: so the longer you are enrolled, the higher your chance of getting a room. Therefore, it might take some time before you’ll have a chance. However, once you’ve paid the initial €22,50 to sign up, you can move to more popular houses later on, since your enrollment is automatically valid for 8 years. Housing corporation DUWO offers a lot of housing in Amsterdam and works with a similar platform, called ROOM. Their initial fee is €35. If you’re planning to stay in Amsterdam after you’ve graduated, it might be a good idea to sign up for Woningnet as early as possible: Woningnet is the platform for social housing for non-students.
There are multiple Facebook groups where housing is offered. Often this concerns current tenants looking for a new house mate, but often whole houses or studio’s are offered. Sign up for the groups or like the pages to keep informed.
PRIVATELY OWNED FLATS
In recent years a lot of large student housing buildings have been built by private companies. The offer is diverse: the rooms in Student Experience for example are very luxury, furnished and include lots of services. They are priced accordingly. A less expensive option is the former ACTA building, managed by Socius. This is a former faculty building of UvA that now offers rooms in shared units with very low rents. An overview of projects that are still being developed can be found on a map on the website of the municipality of Amsterdam.
Just like on Facebook, there are multiple websites where rooms are being offered. Often you can view the offers for free but you’re asked to pay to respond. It is important to know that there are lots of scams on these websites. Never pay any money before you’ve viewed the room, met the landlord and received the key.
Hospihousing is special as it is a platform that focuses on the ‘Hospitaregeling’ which is a form of living where someone shares their house with a student.
TEMPORARY ROOMS AND ANTI-SQUATTING
In the ideal case you find a room where you can stay as long as you want. But if you can’t find that, a temporary place to live might be a solution. There are different types of temporary houses and rooms. Anti-squatting is often one of the cheaper options. Anti-squatting contracts are not renting agreements. You don’t pay rent, but a compensation for the expenses for gas, water, electricity
and services. Carefully read the agreement, because strange requirements are sometimes included. Hotel 400 and The Student Hotel are a mixed form of student housing and a hotel. During summer (july and august), these flats are mainly used as a hotel, and the rest of the year they’re used as student housing. The rooms are furnished.
Should it not be possible for you to find a place, you can try HospiHousing. It’s platform that enables people (mainly elderly) to share rooms in their house with, for instance, students. Moving in with an elderly person is not very common anymore, but used to basically be the only way for students to live outside of their parental home in the past. HospiHousing is a partner of the municipality of Amsterdam and HospiHousing always verifies their hosts.