Makelaar: Estate Agent
Housing through the University
As fantastic as living in Amsterdam is, housing can be a real headache. In regards to University provided accommodation, the process is often lacking transparency. Speaking from personal experience I didn't receive confirmation that I would receive accommodation until the 3rd August, I was actually told about 3 weeks before this that it was unlikely that I would be provided with any accommodation. So it can take a very long time.
If you have stage 3 status this generally means a corporation will make you an offer. If you have been on stage 3 for a number of days you should contact the housing team to chase them. For more information and how to contact the housing team you can take a look at http://www.uva.nl/en/education/master-s/practical-matters/housing/housing.html.
Housing through commercial options
If you have been unfortunate and have not been allocated a room through the University then there are a number of options you can look into.
Firstly, whether you have accommodation provided by the University or you are looking now, it is a good idea sign up to Studentenwoningweb (www.studentenwoningweb.nl). This website allows you to apply for one subsidised student room a week, however the allocation of rooms is based on how long each applicant has been waiting for a room, so having a year already on your account when it comes to finding a place after your University contract expires is useful.
For renting a whole property www.funda.nl, www.woonnet.nl, and www.pararius.com are websites that amalgamate estate agent listings onto one site. www.rentslam.com is another paid site which searches a vast number of agents up to 300 times a day and emails you matches so this can also be helpful if you do not have time. Whilst it is possible to rent a whole property, many estate agents and landlords will not rent to students / people sharing, or will require proof of salary. Persistence is the key here and whilst it is difficult it is not impossible to find somewhere.
There are a number of Facebook groups where people post adverts for rooms as well, a selection are provided here:
If you are really struggling to find somewhere, The Student Hotel (www.thestudenthotel.com) and Campus Diemen Zuid (www.campusdiemenzuid.nl/en) offer medium to long term contracts for students, however they are generally more expensive than the options mentioned above.
From all these commercial option listed above, we recommend the following two options: 1) Studentenwoningweb and 2) find housing through Facebook groups. Studentenwoningweb offers government-subsidized housing for students. However, the wait times may be long. The longer you have an account, the higher your chances. Concerning the Facebook groups: most people in these groups are students looking for flatmates to fill their empty rooms. They are not there to make a profit, so here you have the best chance to find affordable housing.
A consideration to keep in mind when thinking about accommodation is the location in respect to the university campus. Your lectures will be at Roeterseiland east of the centre, so remember to factor this is when looking at how long the cycle is or how to get there by public transport.
Another detail to bare in mind is that you are required to register with the municipality whilst you are studying here and some landlords may state that it is not possible to register at their property.
Some properties are eligible for a rental allowance (depending on your circumstances) from the Dutch government, even if you aren’t a Dutch citizen. Eligibility criteria can be found (In Dutch) on the following website: www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/belastingdienst/prive/toeslagen/huurtoeslag/huurtoeslag
This process requires having a Dutch bank account, a BSN number and a DigiD from the government (there will be a section on Arrival Essentials to find out more about these), After acquiring these there is an online application on the same site to fill out in Dutch. Again you can ask one of your Dutch coursemates to help you with this or we can find someone to help you fill it in. After jumping through a few hoops and a wonderful visit to the Belastingdienst building you can receive a monthly refund on your rent.
There are limits to how much landlords are able to charge for rent in Amsterdam, the following website (www.lsvb.nl/checkjekamer) can be used if you are already renting to check if you are paying too much, and if you contact them within 6 months of your contract starting they will help you claim back the excess rent from the beginning of your tenancy. The service is free to use and is there to protect your rights. - checking you aren’t paying too much rent. Unfortunately it is in Dutch at the moment but ask us for some help and we will find someone who can help you fill in the form.