Housing in the Netherlands is generally in short supply and can therefore be very expensive and hard to find. For assistance on housing your personal contacts will come in handy. There are different accommodation options for foreign researchers which are listed below.
Many Dutch host organizations can arrange housing for their PhD students and guest researchers in cooperation with local agencies. It is highly advisable to turn to your host institution first when looking for housing in the Netherlands.
Although public/social housing is the cheaper option, it is quite difficult to find public/social housing on a short notice and for short-term accommodation. The waiting lists can easily be over 5 years in the big cities (9 years in Amsterdam and Utrecht). There are however regional differences and in some cases public housing could be an option. On this webpage of Aedes you can find an overview of housing corporations which are linked to cities. In the Netherlands the are also student housing associations. This is a particular kind of housing corporation (not just for students), offering subsidized or rent-controlled apartments within a specific area. An example is DUWO for the area Amsterdam, Delft & The Hague.
For more general information on renting and public/social housing in the Netherlands you can consult this webpage of the Dutch government.
However expensive, private rentals are usually the first choice for expats as they can easily be rented for short-term stays by foreigners temporarily living in the Netherlands. Real estate agents ('makelaars' in Dutch) offer both rentals and houses for sale. If you use a 'makelaar', make sure they are registered with the National Association of Estate Agents (NVM). Below some useful organizations concerning renting in the Dutch private market.
- Access and Just Landed Netherlands are general expat support organizations offering a starting point on housing options.
- Direct Wonen and Rotsvast are two large leasing agents and Funda is a platform offering private rentals. Also AirB&B can also offer various rentals.
- The Woonbond is an organisation defending the interests of tenants (only in Dutch).
Another option is to request the assistance of a relocation company, guiding you through the entire relocation process from finding temporary housing to scheduling utility connections and driver’s licenses. On this webpage of Expactica you find an overview of various relocation companies.
Although housing prizes are high, mortgage deals can be relatively attractive, making buying an interesting option if you plan to stay for a longer period of time. Below some useful organizations concerning buying a house in the Netherlands.
- Funda and Jaap are two large platforms offering properties for sale in the Netherlands.
- Expactica is an information site specifically for foreigners, with information about both renting and buying.
- For information on mortgages for foreigners you can consult a bank of choice, such as SNS Bank, ABN AMRO & ING Bank.