10 Tips to Secure an Apartment in the Netherlands (From Those Who Have Been Through It, and Know the Pain)

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We understand the excitement and challenges that come with finding your perfect place. This can be especially hard for international students and expats, as you’re often pressed for time and might have a limited budget, especially if you’re studying.

To help you secure your dream rental, we’ve curated insider tips to help you land your apartment!

1.  Craft a Stellar Tenant Profile:

Begin by creating a comprehensive tenant profile that reflects your academic pursuits, job stability, and commitment to responsible tenancy. Let landlords know you’re the ideal tenant they’re looking for

2. Make sure you are a right fit, and that the place is a right fit for you!

Apartments often do not allow sharing (we know, stressful), which can make it especially hard for you. Before you apply to places, make sure you check up on all the requirements for a place, so you’re not wasting your time.  Such as: is sharing allowed? Are pets allowed? Is there registration for everyone who would like to live in the apartment? What is the minimum income requirement for this place? These are often stated in the description of listings. 

To make sure if it’s the right place for you, always check the description and supplementary information to answer some important questions, like: Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished? Does the apartment allow pets? Does the rental price include utilities, or are utilities excluded? This can be an issue when trying to stay within your budget! 

3. Personalise Your Application:

 Put your personality into your application letter. Share your connection to the city, your excitement about the property, and your journey as an international student or expat.

Include information about you that can be make-it or break-it, such as if you are sharing an apartment, require registration for all of you, and if you have guarantors. Unfortunately, a lot of landlords sometimes don’t accept these terms, so don’t go to viewings for places you are not eligible for. 

4. Compile Essential Documents:

Gather important documents such as your passport, proof of income or funding, bank statements, and any rental history. These documents showcase your credibility and readiness to take on a rental. Pro tip: Compile all your documents into a PDF, including passports, payslips, and any other supporting information! If you have guarantors, include their passports and their information (with their approval, ofcourse). 

If you’re a student – download your proof of enrollment from your portal or ask your university for it! This is often required by landlords and agencies, to prove you’re really studying in the Netherlands. 

5. Emphasise Your Intentions:

Long-term, indefinite rental contracts: Reassure landlords of your commitment to the rental by mentioning your plans for long-term residence. Detail your academic program’s duration or your professional aspirations in the Netherlands.

1-2 year, temporary rental contracts: Let landlords know that you do not want to overstay your welcome initially, when making an offer. If it is not possible to extend your contract, and the landlord wants someone only for a temporary period, emphasise how you will move when you degree or employment contract concludes, or mention to them that you will search for a longer-term place once you’re settled in and familiar with the city. 

6. Prioritise Quick Responses:

Our expertise tells us that landlords appreciate prompt communication. Be attentive and professional in your responses to showcase your seriousness.

7. Attend Property Viewings:

 Whenever possible, attend in-person viewings. This not only helps you assess the property but also provides a chance to connect directly with the landlord or the agent, who will present you to the landlord with your offer. 

If you cannot make a viewing in person, you can also often reach out to friends, who can attend the viewing for you and send you in-depth videos, so you see what the place really looks like! 

8. Explore Guarantor Options:

If your credit history is limited (which it usually is when you’re a student), consider having a guarantor – someone who can vouch for your financial reliability, such as a close relative. If you’re a student, this will be the case most of the time. Make sure you obtain information from your guarantors on time, so you can send it to agencies and landlords with your offer present. 

Often times, landlords will ask for a Letter of Guarantee or Guarantee Form, which is supplementary to your rental contract. This will be signed by both you and your guarantor(s), and very simply comes down to: “I will guarantee [your name’s] payment of rent and supplementary costs at [address], for the duration of the lease agreement”.

9. Polite Follow-Ups:

 Follow up with landlords or agents after submitting your application. Maintain a courteous tone while demonstrating your continued interest in the property.

 We’ve observed that being open to minor adjustments, such as move-in dates or furnishings, can enhance your application’s appeal.

10. Final Step: Make sure you’re not getting screwed over by your contract! 

Congratulations on securing your new rental! 

As you receive your rental contract, remember that understanding its terms is vital. Our expertise ensures that you’re fully informed about the terms you’re agreeing to. With us by your side, you’ll step into your new rental with confidence, fully equipped to navigate your tenancy successfully. 

Just upload your contract to TenantHero, and receive all the key points, red flags and next steps. You can also upload the contract after you signed! This is key because we know how it can be under pressure – you can still amend your contract within a certain time, or make sure you’re fully prepared so you know your obligations during your tenancy.

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