Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about expat housing in the Netherlands.

Renting General

What do I need to earn to rent an apartment?
Some landlords require a gross salary minimum of 3 - 4 times the monthly rent. In case you don't have this, proof of savings or a guarantee is sometimes sufficient.
Where can I find apartments? and are the two best search engines for rental properties. Have a look at our House Hunting Handbook for more information on where to find apartments.
What does "including" and "excluding" mean?
When talking about including and excluding we're talking about the costs for utilities. Most apartments you will find online are offered excluding utilities unless specifically mentioned.
What does shell/unfurnished/semi-furnished/furnished mean?
A shell is an apartment without a floor and sometimes essential kitchen equipment. Unfurnished means there's a floor and kitchen in the apartment. Semi-furnished is an unfurnished apartment with very basic furniture (like a sofa and bed), please note that this option is very uncommon. Furnished means you only have to bring your suitcase because it's fully furnished and equipped.
Is there a minimum rental period?
A minimum rental period can only apply in an indefinite contract and is under the landlord’s discretion.
How much on average will gas, water, and electricity bills amount to?
Depending on how big your apartment is and how much water, energy, and gas you're using, utility expenses will add up to €150 - 210 per month. On average you'll pay the following amounts for internet (€30 - €60); water (€10 - €20); gas (€50 - €80); and electricity (€30 - €50).
What are the estimated costs of city taxes per year in Amsterdam?
For a single person household you will be charged about €477 per year for municipality taxes. For a multiple person household you'll pay around €680 p/year.
Will I incur extra costs if renting a furnished apartment, in comparison to an unfurnished apartment?
The difference in price depends on how luxurious the furniture is. Take into account that you'll spend around a €100 - €300 extra for a furnished apartment.
How much will a landlord most commonly ask for a deposit?
The deposit can range from 1 months for an unfurnished apartment to 2 months for a furnished apartment. In case you don't meet some other criteria from the landlord they can charge up to 3 months. Please note that deposits can be negotiable.
How does the process of extending my rental contract, after the first year of a rental, work?
If you would like to extend your rental contract first check if you have signed for a temporary or indefinite contract. In case of the latter you don't need to do anything, if no party terminates it will run until the tenant terminates the contract. In case of a temporary contract you should inform the landlord that you would like to stay longer. Please do this at least one month before the expiration of your lease contract. Together with the landlord you can then decide to continue the lease.
Are my landlord’s furnishings already insured against theft/damage?
The landlord is responsible for taking out insurance of his own goods (content), and the house (fire & theft). You are responsible to take out content insurance for your own belongings.
Can I offer a 'bank guarantee' instead of a deposit? And how does it work?
Most landlords request a cash deposit, though you can always ask if they are ok with a bank guarantee. A bank guarantee is used with some bigger real estate owners and project developers, so it is not unheard of.
What do the terms lessor and lessee mean?
Lessor stands for Landlord where Lessee means Tenant.
What will I need to bring for a contract signing?
Sometimes agents require a copy of your passport, a screenshot of the payment of the rent and deposit.
Is it possible to delay payment of the deposit? Or to pay the deposit in instalments?
Most of the time the agent/landlord requires the deposit to be paid in full before the lease starts. This is something you can always request though in case you're having trouble with getting the total amount ready before the lease.