When calculating your housing budget there are several costs and fees you should take in account. Below you can find an overview of the approximate costs of reserved accommodation, and the average costs of housing in the private market.
- Furnished private room, shared facilities: €400 - €550
- Furnished studio, private facilities: €600 - €750
- Registration fee: €0 - €50
- Booking/contract/administration costs: €77,50 - €175
- Down payment / deposit: €600 - €1000
- End-cleaning fee: variable
- Municipal taxes: €350 - €400 / year
For the reserved accommodation specific requirements need to be met and availability is limited. Especially the more affordable options book up very quick. Being able to afford the costs therefore does not guarantee that you can make a reservation.
- Room with shared facilities: €400 - €700
- Studio with private facilities: €700 - €1200
- Apartment (e.g. for a couple): €1000 - €1500
- (Monthly) registration fee platform or agency: Variable
- Booking, administration or contract fee: €100 – €200
- Agency / search assignment fee: Up to a month's rent
- Down payment / deposit: 1 to 2 months rent
- Flooring, curtains, a bed and other furniture (usually arranged by tenant)
- Municipal taxes: €350 - €400 / year
Private landlords often impose additional requirements such as proof of income or a rent guarantor. Note that more affordable options are very popular and therefore scarce. In addition, there are usually a number of candidates for each room, studio or apartment and ads are not always up to date. Because of this you should take in account that being able to afford the costs does not guarantee that you can reserve the accommodation.
There are different types of fees an agency or platform may ask you to pay when you are searching for housing:
- Mediation fee: Housing agencies that mediate on behalf of a third party (usually a home owner) are not allowed to charge a mediation fee to the tenant for their services. This is stipulated by law in 2016 and ratified by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets in 2019. If you are charged or have been charged a mediation fee, you can submit a claim to the agency for a waiver or refund based on this act.
- Registration fee: In order to secure an income from their mediation activities, agencies may charge a registration fee or subscription fee to prospective tenants before they can access or respond to the rent offerings online.
- Search assignment fee: Some agencies might advertise rental offerings on their website that are not actually available anymore. Once the prospective tenant applies for it, the agency will instead offer to carry out a search assignment to find an accommodation for you. For this an agency may charge a search assignment fee, even if it is without a satisfactory result. This is not necessarily illegal.
In case of doubt about the legitimacy of a fees, you can contact a legal helpdesk for advice.
Before you come to a rental agreement, you may be asked to pay a contract, booking or administration fee. In case of doubt about the legitimacy or amount, you can have your rental conditions checked by a legal helpdesk. If you suspect scamming or an unreasonable amount, don’t take the risk.
A down payment, or ‘aanbetaling’ in Dutch, is a portion of the rent to be paid upfront to secure a reservation. This may be asked in addition to a deposit. Always read the Terms & Conditions carefully as, under certain conditions, you may lose your down payment. Always save proof of payment and if you suspect scamming or an unreasonable amount, don’t take the risk.
You usually pay one or two months rent as a deposit, or ‘borg’ in Dutch, when you come to an agreement. Always read the Terms & Conditions carefully as, under certain conditions, you may lose your deposit. Always save proof of payment and if you suspect scamming or an unreasonable amount, don’t take the risk. If you have a dispute with your landlord in regard of the repayment of your deposit, make sure to contact a legal help desk.
In your contract you can find payment information and also when your rent is due. Although rented housing is regulated on both local and national level, there are ways to overcharge rent in relation to the size or amenities of the room. Because the housing market in the Netherlands is for a large part liberalised, overcharging rent is not necessarily against the law. Many students agree on paying a higher rent because they like the room, or because it is their best option.
Rent price check
It is possible to have your rent (re)assessed even after you have come to an agreement with a landlord. Rent Team Utrecht can help you with your case. You can make an appointment, or you can ask them for more information about the procedures. On the Huurteam website you can also enter an address and check the reasonable rental price, based on their records.
Service and utility costs
You pay monthly service and utility costs, or ‘servicekosten’ in Dutch, in addition to the net rent of your accommodation. These costs may for example include water, gas and electrics, caretaker costs, administration costs, cleaning or repair costs, costs for common areas, and furnishings. The service costs are often specified in your rental agreement. If you rent on the private market, your landlord must provide an overview of the total costs. If you disagree with the charged service fees, if they are not specified, or if you have not received a yearly overview make sure to contact a legal help desk.
In some cases and under specific conditions and requirements The Dutch Tax Office subsidises individuals who rent specific types of accommodation in the Netherlands to make the rent more affordable. This is called rent allowance, (‘huurtoeslag’ in Dutch), and it is regulated by the Government of the Netherlands. Whether you qualify for this allowance depends on several factors such as the applicant’s age, income, household, duration of the rental period as stated in the rental contract, the type of rental contract and the monthly rent. The requirements are determined in the the Rent Benefits Act (Wet op huurtoeslag).
Because there are also very specific requirements to the type of accommodation to be eligible for rent allowance, the amount of available housing that falls within this scheme is very limited and thus in high demand. It is very rare to find a house on the private housing market that qualifies for rent allowance. However, some of the self-contained housing in the Reserved Accommodation Programme might be eligible if you also meet the individual requirements. In order to apply for rent allowance you need a Social Security Number (‘BSN’ in Dutch). To obtain this number, you will need to register with the municipality of Utrecht. You can find more information on the website of the Dutch Tax Office, reach them by phone via +31 555 385 385, or contact them for an appointment at one of their service desks. Note that the website of the benefits department of the Dutch Tax Office offers more elaborate information but only in Dutch.
Each municipality calculates water, environment and waste charges on a yearly basis for its residents. Your rental agreement will include information on whether your rent is calculated to include or exclude these municipal taxes. If you rent accommodation with shared facilities (bathroom, kitchen and/or toilet) the municipality charges these taxes to the landlord, which the landlord may calculate in your rent. If you rent self-contained accommodation with private facilities, the rent is usually calculated excluding these taxes. In this case, the tenant pays the municipality taxes to the landlord or municipality directly upon request. The amount can be substantial and varies per municipality and the number of household members.
Social housing such as low rent family homes and apartments can usually be obtained only after a considerate registration period of up to ten years. For this type of housing you will have to prove that the gross income of your household is below the official requirement of 38.035 euros (2019).
Liberalised housing has a higher montly rent than the social housing cap. For most of this type of housing, such as apartments and family homes, landlords will often want to see proof of employment and/or proof of monthly income of you and your household members. Agencies or landlords may even request to see proof of income that is up to four times the rent.
If you cannot meet the income requirements, some landlords or agencies will allow you to appoint a rent guarantor that can supply sufficient proof of income. A rent guarantor is legally required to pay the rent if the tenant is unable to pay.