Looking for housing in Amsterdam
Wijksteunpunten Wonen Amsterdam
There are many rules and regulations protecting tenants’ rights in the Netherlands, but many tenants aren’t sufficiently aware of this. The Wijksteunpunten Wonen would like to help you, free of charge. They will give you free information, advice and support regarding renting and housing. They are in every part of the city. There is always a Wijksteunpunt Wonen in your neighborhood.
Accomodation is scarce
In Amsterdam there is a great housing shortage for people who want to live in the city. This is why people who are looking for a reasonably priced house have to comply with the rules set by the Amsterdam authorities.
For a self-contained house with a rent of under € 710,68 (index 2016) you need residence permission (“huisvestingsvergunning”) from the Dienst Wonen. To get a residence permit you have to work or study in the Amsterdam area or you have to have lived there for at least two years.
If that is not the case, you will probably have to accept a room in someone else’s house or in the attic. Usually you can use your landlord’s kitchen, toilet and bathroom.
We advise you to register with the housing corporations at “Woningnet” as soon as possible. But only if you intend to stay in (the region of) Amsterdam for several years because it will take several years before you quallify for an appartment.
House hunting costs time and effort
The search for a room in Amsterdam takes a lot of time. It is impossible to look for a room in the city without coming here yourself. Moreover, landlords or landladies want to meet the person they are going to accept as a tenant. This means that the search is up to you, and that you cannot leave it to relatives or friends.
Before going to look at a room, be sure of what you consider important. Once you’re there, have a good look around the place to see if it meets your needs and wishes.
The best rooms you will find through relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Therefore, tell everybody that you’re looking for a room and ask them to be on the look-out for you. You can also consult the papers (don’t forget the Amsterdam papers, such as Het Parool, the Amsterdams Stadsblad and the Echo) or consider the advertisements in the supermarket or in the Via-Via.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to run into untrustworthy landlords. Therefore, you’d better not go alone, and don’t pay anything before you have made clear agreements. Ask for a receipt which says how much you’ve paid and for what. ASW has an example of a contract for rooms.
In the Netherlands the rent prices of houses ànd rooms are determined by a ‘point counting’ system (‘puntensysteem’) The quality of the room or house is expressed in ‘points’. The landlord may not ask more than the rent according to the ‘point counting’ system.
This ‘point counting’ system does not apply to houses with an official rent higher than €710,68 (index 2016) . When you rent a house above this price, check that the rent is not too high according to the ‘point counting’ system. In that case you have six months in which to object officially. The Wijksteunpunt Wonen can advise you on this subject.
Often landlords ask ‘all-in’ rent. Beware, try to find out what you pay for the basic rent and what for service.
Commercial room agencies
In Amsterdam there are two room agencies run on a non-commercial basis: ASVA, and SRVU. All the other room agencies in the city are run on a commercial basis, which means that they profit financially of the great housing shortage. All commercial agencies offering houses or rooms must be registered with the Amsterdam authorities. They are allowed to ask only a reasonable registration fee. They have to offer you a house or room within four months, if not, you can get your money back. If they find you a room, you have to pay for their services. This amount also has to be reasonable.
We advise you to be very careful when you apply to such a room agency. Often it will only cost you a lot of money. When you have questions, you can come during the ASW office hours for information and advise.
Living in a group
The ASW mediates candidates for co-housing groups. If you are interested in living in a group, you can enlist during the ASW office hours.
Non-commercial room agencies
ASVA Studentenunie kamerbureau (only for students)
Binnengasthuisstraat 9, 1012 ZA Amsterdam,
020 – 525 3136
Costs: € 15,- (inclusive of membership of the students’ union) and a deposit of € 5,- when you take an address with you.
Monday to Friday 12.30 – 16.00 hrs. Thursday 12.30 – 18.00 hrs (in August till 16.00 hrs).
Drawing of lots: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 16.00 hrs., on Thursday at 18.00 hrs.
The 3 housing corporations which let studentflats in Amsterdam work together in the organization “studentenwoningweb”. You can find information and a registrationform on their website.
Casa 400 / Casa Academica
James Wattstraat 75, 1097 DK Amsterdam, 020 – 665 71 81
Only rooms from October 1st until May 31st for students until 30 years of age.
For more information see their (Dutch) website.
Vondelpark City Hostel, Zandpad 5, 1054 GA Amsterdam, 020-589 89 99
Arena, ‘s Gravesandestraat 51, 1092 AA Amsterdam 020-694 74 44
Studentenhotel, Keizersgracht 15, 1015 CC Amsterdam, 020-625 13 64
Stadsdoelen, Kloveniersburgwal 97, 1011 KB Amsterdam, 020-624 68 32
Stayokay Amsterdam Zeeburg, Timorplein 21, 1094 CC Amsterdam, 020-551 31 90
Virtueel Inburgeringsloket Amsterdam (temporarily down as of april 2015, expected to be back online soonish)
Foreigners can learn more about living in the Netherlands and Amsterdam at the ‘Virtual Inburgerings-desk’. “Inburgering” means so much as “integration”. Here you can find information about housing in Amsterdam (but also about papers, money, work, transport, school and healthcare). The information is in Dutch, English, Turkish and Arabic.