Amsterdam Accommodation for Students
You are probably already planning your stay in Amsterdam but you don’t know where you are going to live. Don’t worry, here you will find ideas for finding accommodation during your Erasmus in Amsterdam.
Find out first at your university because universities in Amsterdam often offer a service to help find accommodation for their Erasmus students.
It is difficult to find accommodation from your home town, so we recommend you stay the first few days in an hostel, hotel or Airbnb apartment. Once in Amsterdam you will be able to search quietly and see the flats and avoid possible scams.
You are one of those who prefers to have your own space and live alone so that no one touches your things and you don’t have to share the bathroom. So what you need is to find a flat for yourself.
If you prefer to share your stay in Amsterdam with other students and live with friends the best option is to share an apartment.
How to find the right apartment in Amsterdam!
Ask any local and you will be told about the housing shortage in the city, however this does not mean that finding the perfect apartment is an impossible feat. If you are planning to relocate to the Netherlands, in particularly the thriving metropolitan of Amsterdam, it is probably wise to enlist the services of a professional relocation agency, specifically one which actually deals with sourcing properties for foreigners. These agencies are experts in the real estate market and once they have been given the specifics, they will track down an apartment that will best suit your needs and more importantly your budget. Due to the housing shortage, renting an apartment is not always a cheap exercise but with many local agencies specialising in rentals, finding the right accommodation in Amsterdam is possible.
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Fully furnished or unfurnished
It is a given that an apartment which is fully furnished will be rented out for a higher price, but fully furnished provides the convenience of simply moving in and living. If your move to Amsterdam is due to a company transfer, it is more than likely that your employer will have a program in place to help with the relocation and with finding an apartment that will be home for the duration of your stay in the city. Most specialised rental agencies work with organisations to assist relocating employees.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of using an agency (if not paid for by an employer) is their costs. The services of such agencies tend to be pretty high but considering that the agency will do all the legwork and enquiries, it is often better to pay the price and be assured of finding an apartment in the right part of town and at the right price. As experts in the industry, a rental agency has a clear understanding of the often complicated Dutch property laws and rental regulations and rather than becoming an illegal tenant, most expats prefer to hand over the legwork to a professional company.
Waiting list for apartments
Most apartments in Amsterdam are controlled by the city, and this means that residents are put on a waiting list at the age of 18 or if they are full-time students, at a later age. After a few years, the eligible Dutch citizen will be notified that an apartment has become available. This strictly controlled and monitored system, makes it almost – in fact totally impossible for an erasmus or foreigner to secure a state-controlled apartment however, the strictly controlled system has opened up a system whereby an eligible tenant sublets their apartments to a non-local. This is illegal and unwise for the expat who does not want to find themselves on the wrong side of Dutch law (especially for the expats who hopes to gain Dutch citizenship) – it is far better to find a accommodation through the approved and legal channels and not succumb to the temptation of illegally subletting an apartment, no matter how tempting it may be
Folks in Amsterdam believe that rentals are very costly and this may be true if you are comparing the price of rentals in the inner city with suburban rentals. On the flipside, an Amsterdam rental is probably in line with most other urban cities, perhaps even cheaper than rentals in New York and London. For instance one is able to find a studio apartment for about €1500, and obviously the rental will increase for a bigger one bedroom apartment. Considering the fact that the city is facing a housing shortage, for the most part, apartments are pretty compact but comfortable and apartments are typically equipped with the necessary modern conveniences and amenities. Such compact apartments are the norm in most urban sprawls and erasmus are able to easily adapt to a compact lifestyle. The most popular apartments for rent in Amsterdam are the older properties as these apartments have charming features like the high ceilings, balconies and ornate entrance hallways. There are however, several other apartment rental choices, including purpose built accommodation that boasts modern furnishings and amenities.
It is acceptable to pay a deposit which is twice the monthly rental for a furnished apartment in Amsterdam whereas for an unfurnished or a semi-furnished apartment the deposit is usually charged at one month’s rental.
Tips on finding that perfect apartment for students!
If you have just arrived in the city, visit the different districts and suburbs and explore the city. View the districts and figure out where you can see yourself living. Remember to take into account travelling to and from work and the distance to stores, restaurants, etc.
Know how much you can afford before you contact agents, or before you start apartment hunting. When renting, you can expect to pay out a hefty amount of money in the first month, as you will need to cover the deposit, the first months’ rent and you may need to pay commission to the rental agent.
Deal with a reputable agency, who knows what you want!
A good agent is worth their weight in gold and will become a worthwhile ally during the hunt. Be sure that the agency understands your precise needs and be honest with the agency; about what type of apartment will suit you and where you will prefer living! If an apartment is not what you want – simply be honest!
When you find the apartment you really want – act quickly to avoid disappointment.
Remember property moves quickly in Amsterdam and if you have found that perfect apartment, don’t waste time. If you take your time making a decision, the chances are you’ll lose it!
Try not to compare Amsterdam with other cities!
Amsterdam is a city all on its own and the rental market is unique. Rental prices vary greatly and what’s more the city council has many rules in place which need to be adhered to. As an erasmus you will probably be tempted to compare Amsterdam’s rental prices and apartment sizes with other cities around the world, but you need to bear in mind that Amsterdam is a wonderfully unique city which cannot be compared to any other city!
We hope you find the best accommodation in Amsterdam for you!