Q&A: Housing

Even though the streets of Amsterdam are quite nice, it would of course contribute to your student period if you don’t have to stay all your nights there. Therefore, we created a list of tips to get you on the way in finding your own little palace.

First of all: finding a nice house is not easy. If you have a limited budget – which in Amsterdam terms is everything under 500 euros per month – you should probably forget about the city centre and its surroundings. After all it is more important to actually have a house than to immediately live in the middle of the city. The Bijlmer, Noord and Nieuw-West are excellent locations to start, as there is always a good connection to the city centre (for more information on this, see the transportation section).

What are the easiest ways to find housing in Amsterdam?

  • UvA Housing → Various kinds of rooms are offered to international students by the UvA. Once you have been admitted to the European Studies programme, you will receive a mail by the UvA with a link to an online application system for housing. For more information on UvA Housing, click here.
  • Housing corporations → De Key, DUWO and Ymere are non-profit social housing corporations. Registration with these corporations gives access to a wide variation of student accommodations. The amount of housing possibilities will increase as your registration term goes on.
  • Student complexes → Throughout the city there are multiple student complexes, such as The Student Hotel, Ravel Residence and Hotel Casa 400. These complexes offer furnished rooms for students.
  • Facebook groups → There are many Facebook groups in which student rooms in Amsterdam are offered, such as ‘Zoekt kamer in Amsterdam Community’, ‘Woningen te huur in Amsterdam’ and ‘Student Housing Amsterdam’. However, the posts in these groups are often in Dutch.
  • Commercial agencies → Of course there are also some commercial parties that offer help in the search for accommodation in Amsterdam. This option is a bit more expensive, as you’ll have to pay a registration fee. If these agencies are not able to offer you accommodation within four months, your registration fee will be reimbursed. Commercial agencies offering houses or rooms must be registered with the Amsterdam authorities.

What is the safest way to get student housing?
Just as in any other place in the world, Amsterdam is home to some scammers whose main goal is to get your money. Of course UvA Housing and the housing corporations and student complexes listed before are safe, but watch out when replying to Facebook posts. For example, when you see a person without profile picture offering a ‘FURNISHED ROOM IN CITY CENTRE €300,- FEMALES UNDER 21 ONLY’ it is probably better to ignore it. The same goes for room agencies. When in doubt, you can go the ASW office (Amsterdams Steunpunt Wonen) for information and advice.

Why is it important to register at the municipality?
When searching for accommodation, it is important to check if you’re able to register at the municipality. Besides the fact that you should be able to have your place of residence registered, you need this registration in order to get a BSN. For more info on this subject, see the BSN section.

Rent allowance: what is it and how do I get it?
When renting a room or an apartment, you may be eligible for rent allowance. Rent allowance is a contribution towards your living accommodation expenses from the Dutch Tax Authorities. There are specific conditions that need to be matched in order to qualify for rent allowance. The most recent conditions can be found here, on the official website of the Tax Authorities. However, this website is only in Dutch. The Tax Authorities do have a phone number that is also available for non-Dutch speakers, which is +31 55 538 5385.