How to find student accommodation in Amsterdam

First things first, bear in mind that if you stay in the Netherlands for a continuous period of four months, you must register with the municipality (gemeente). When you leave, you need to de-register (laten uitschrijven).

Some of Amsterdam's colleges and universities institutes provide student accommodation. Looking for student accommodation yourself is a major undertaking. Keep your eyes and ears open and tell as many people as you can that you’re searching for somewhere to live. You can also find advertisements in student magazines or online. Alternatively, you can post a notice on the notice board of your university or college (hogeschool).

For general information about finding accommodation, click here.

For more information for foreign students, click here.

Student accommodation in the Netherlands

Many students in the Netherlands live in student hostels. These are usually for both men and women. Nearly all residents have their own room, while they generally have to share kitchen and bathroom facilities. Student accommodation in the Netherlands is quite small and relatively expensive, particularly in the major student cities. Prices start at around 275 euros per month, although they can be as high as 500 euros. This is because of the housing shortage.

Residential accommodation has to satisfy certain statutory requirements. Click here for more information about tenants’ rights.

Things to keep in mind

  • Check beforehand whether a room is furnished. The quality of furnishing can vary somewhat. If your room is unfurnished, then you can find affordable furniture in a second-hand or charity store.
  • Watch out for illegally sublet accommodation. As an illegal tenant you have few rights. Not only that, you risk being evicted. Tenants may only sublet part of a house or apartment if they inhabit it themselves. Under certain conditions landlords may sublet their home if they are away temporarily, e.g. for study abroad. To do so they must apply officially in advance, and the sub-letter must register with the municipality at the address in question.
  • In the Netherlands it is customary to pay a deposit when renting accommodation. This is generally equivalent to one or two months’ rent. You get this back if you leave it in good condition.
  • Sometimes a landlord will only let accommodation if you pay a one-off amount in addition to the rent and deposit. This is known as key money (sleutelgeld). This is, however, not allowed. The fact is that you pay something for nothing. If you have paid key money, you can take legal action to reclaim it. You must be able to prove you have paid it, either by means of a receipt or witness statements.
  • Rent is often ‘inclusive’ (inclusief), i.e. the costs of gas, water and electricity are included. Bear in mind, however, that this is not always the case.

Student help

The Student Housing Guide gives an overview of providers of accommodation and practical tips for finding a place to live in Amsterdam. It contains 5 sections:

  • Housing arranged for you

  • Looking for accommodation yourself

  • Hostels

  • Tips for finding accommodation

  • I’ve found accommodation – what next?

The student housing guide (2013-2014)

Download the PDF

Contacts

Kamernet is the largest resource for student accommodation in Amsterdam, listing mainly rooms in shared flats.  

The DUWO Foundation also lists student accommodation in Amsterdam.