Renting in the private sector in the Amsterdam Area

Finding housing in a new place always requires some research. If you’re planning to rent in the Amsterdam region, the most common option for expats is to rent property in the private sector. Private rental accommodation is not subsidised and there are no pre-conditions as to your eligibility. While the rental price of these homes are likely to be more expensive than with social housing, the likelihood of finding a place quickly is far greater.

To find a rental home, we suggest you try:

  • Rooftrack  an initiative of WoningNet which offers a wide range of available properties in the non-subsidised rental market. Rooftrack's website displays properties from housing corporations as well as professional property management firms. The website is free of charge and available in English.

  • Online housing sites such as the MVA (see below) which offers an extensive online property search. Pararius and Funda are available in English.

  • Estate agents (makelaars): A good starting point is the MVA, the professional association for estate agents active in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. MVA agents can help with renting, leasing out or valuing a home, and give information and advice about the Amsterdam housing market. 

  • Expat forums and sites on the internet such as Expatica Housing 

  • TenantHub  Designed for professionals that are new to the Amsterdam Area, TenantHub connects potential flatmates working within a similar industry or company.

  • Serviced apartments for short and long-term stays are available through our IN Amsterdam partners

In the private sector landlords usually ask for a deposit, which is typically the equivalent of one or two months’ rent. As for contracts, tenancy agreements can be concluded for fixed periods of time and changed at the discretion of the tenant and landlord (or due to circumstances). You should therefore read your tenancy agreement carefully. Learn more about housing rights in the Amsterdam Area.

Renting in the social sector in the Amsterdam Area

Another possibility is to look into social housing (rent controlled housing) options. The Netherlands has the biggest public housing sector in Europe, the majority of which is owned by private, non-profit housing associations. These rental dwellings are primarily aimed at lower income groups, with a maximum rent capped by law. However, with a waiting list of between 8-18 years, social housing is not a favourable option for many international newcomers. You must also meet strict criteria:

To be eligible for social housing, you must:

  • Satisfy certain conditions, one being that your joint household income is below a certain level.

  • A housing permit is also needed, although a housing association or landlord will apply for a housing permit for you.

  • Live in the municipality where you are looking for housing – for instance because you work there. The landlord will only obtain a housing permit for you if you satisfy all the conditions.

  • Register with WoningNet (in Dutch). Rental property in the Amsterdam Area is advertised every week on their website. Your chance of getting the home of your preference depends on the duration of your registration.

Housing in the city of Amsterdam

If you are looking to rent or buy a home in Amsterdam, the City of Amsterdam (local government) also provides specific housing information

Both the social sector and the private sector are subject to the House Value Rating System (woningwaarderingsstelsel) whereby the quality of a house is awarded points for criteria including standards, size, facilities, energy efficiency rating and property value (up to 145 points). It is particularly useful for calculating whether the rental price is fair in proportion to the quality of your home. For more on the points system, see www.huurcommissie.nl (in Dutch). For all rental homes in the private sector awarded up to 145 points you require a housing permit (huisvestingsvergunning). As of 1 July 2016, the free housing sector begins at 146 points. In the free housing sector, no housing permit is required.