Getting into the legal aspects of renting accommodation is not likely to be anyone’s favourite pastime. We do, however, recommend you acquaint yourself with this topic beforehand. That way, you will know what to expect and will be able to avoid unnecessary bills or disagreements when you leave.
Tenancy agreements are normally in Dutch. Be sure to have someone check the contract before you sign it. Some important issues you need to look out for in the contract:
- Can you use the address of the accommodation rented and the rental agreement to register at the municipality of Rotterdam? In case of a subtenancy (whether it concerns an apartment, room or house) you will only be able to register on that address at the municipality under certain conditions. This is why we would in general advice against subtenancy.
- Does the property come furnished or not?
- Are utilities and services included in the rent? If not, find out what they will come to on a monthly basis.
- Please bear in mind that if gas, heating and water are included in the rent, this means you will be paying an advance. If you then take long showers or heat your room day and night even in summer, it will very likely exceed the advance and lead to an unpleasant bill upon departure. You might like to put on an extra sweater instead of turning up the heat and pay extra!
- Are there any extra fees, such as commission or a reservation fee?
- How much is the deposit and what are the deposit return conditions?
- What is the duration of the tenancy agreement? Could you stay longer if you wished? Check the terms of notice, too.
- What are the rental requirements? (What documents do you need? This also refers to matters such as passport copies, proof of enrollment at your university, a work contract and/or payslip).
If you have questions about one of the above mentioned points, don't hesitate to consult the Housing Hotline for advice.
Housing benefit (in Dutch: Huurtoeslag)
Depending on your financial situation, you might qualify for housing benefit. More information can be found on the website of the Dutch government and tax authorities.