Utrecht University is not liable to provide you with legal aid nor can we determine if you are eligible for rent allowance or assist you with your application. Note that several legal aid offices can provide you with free legal advice. Please see the list below for links to more information and legal helpdesks.

Agency fees

If you are looking for accommodation on your own you will notice that agencies sometimes charge an administration fee or a ‘search assignment’ fee. This is not always illegal but in case of doubt, you can have your rental conditions checked by a legal helpdesk. However, if you suspect scamming ( a fake room offer), don’t take the risk. For more information on scamming see A Number of Important Things to Keep in Mind

Rental prices

The average rent in Utrecht is higher than in most other towns and cities in the Netherlands. Below we listed the average rental prices for student accommodation in the private housing market and the Reserved Accommodation Programme. The average prices (in euros) are for furnished accommodation and include utilities:

Shared room with shared facilities
  • Reserved Accommodation Programme:
    € 350,-
Single room with shared facilities
  • Private market:
    € 400,- to € 800,-
  • Reserved Accommodation Programme:
    € 400,- to € 550,-
Studio or apartment with private facilities
  • Private market:
    € 800,- to € 1500,-
  • Reserved Accommodation Programme:
    € 600,- to € 750,-

Private market

Note that private landlords often impose additional requirements such as proof of income or a rent guarantor. For this reason, being able to afford the rent does not guarantee that you can make a booking. Also, there are usually a number of candidates and ads are not always up to date. For more information read A Number of Important Things to Keep in Mind.

Reserved Accommodation Programme

Specific requirements need to be met to be eligible for the Reserved Accommodation Programme. In addition, availability is limited and rented out on first come first served basis. Renting a room via the Reserved Accommodation Programme is therefore not guaranteed. For more information follow this link.

Rental price check

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, or to charge an unspecified monthly service fee. Because the housing market in the Netherlands is for a large part liberalised, overcharging rent is not necessarily against the law, and it also does not necessarily mean that the room is not good. Many Dutch and international students agree on a higher rent because they like the room, or because it is their best option.

Copyright Huurteam Utrecht

However, it is possible to have your rent reassessed even after you have come to an agreement with a landlord. Huurteam Utrecht can help you with your case. You can make an appointment, or you can simply ask them for more information about the possibilities and procedures.

Huurteam Utrecht also keeps a useful database. On their website you can enter an address and check the reasonable rental price, based on their records.

Rent allowance

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 Dutch Citizen Service Number.To obtain this number, you will need to register with the municipality of Utrecht. For more information on how to apply contact the Dutch Tax office via +31 555 385 385, or plan a visit to one of their offices.

City registration

If you are staying in the Netherlands for more than four months to study, you are legally required to go to the city council and register as a new resident of the town in which you are living. In order to do so, you need, among other things, a legal Dutch address, documented by a tenancy agreement, contract of sale of your home, or your landlord’s permission. You can read more on city registration on this page.

Please note that if you require a visa and/or residence permit you are legally required to register with the city as soon as possible after your arrival. Make sure to take this in consideration when you are looking for housing, as not all (temporary) accommodation allows you to register at the municipality.

Photographer Ivar Pel, copyright UU