How to get long term rentals in Amsterdam
What is the best way to get a long term rentals in Amsterdam? You can of course just start looking around on the many websites available or get a real estate agent involved. But as Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. So read the below tips to prepare yourself for finding that perfect long term rental.
1. What type of rentals can I get?
Am I eligible for Social Housing? Social Housing is affordable as it is regulated by the government. You are only eligible for these houses if your income is below €36.798 (2018). If so, go and register at http://www.woningnetregioamsterdam.nl/. You do need to take into account several years of waiting lists.
If your income is higher, or the waiting does not appeal to you, then stick with Free Sector housing. The rent in free sector housing starts at €711 per month.
2. Are your expectations realistic?
Everybody wants a spacious house in the perfect location with lots of light, a garden or a rooftop terrace. These houses are usually quite expensive, so if you are not on the higher end of the food chain, you should make a list of requirements that is as short as possible and include as many areas to search in as possible. Forget the “nice to haves” and focus on the “must haves” only. It will increase your chances of finding long term rentals in Amsterdam within your budget.
3. Is sharing an option?
Is your budget too low to find long term rentals in Amsterdam in the neighborhoods where you really want to live, then consider sharing. By joining forces with a friend, you can double your budget and get a 2-bedroom apartment which you can afford in the neighborhood of your choice. Although a 2 bedroom apartment is more expensive than a 1 bedroom, it is nowhere near the price of 2 apartments with 1 bedroom each.
If you want to share a long term rental in Amsterdam with more than 2 people, there are some additional regulations that make it a bit more difficult. You can read here what they are (only in Dutch I am afraid) https://www.amsterdam.nl/wonen-leefomgeving/wonen/bijzondere-situaties/woningdelen/
4. Have you properly thought about location?
Lots of people prefer living in the center along the canals or the Jordaan. However, these areas are getting very crowded and the continuously growing amount of tourists makes living there less appealing. Do you own a car? Then it becomes very tricky. Parking permits can take up to 5 years in some parts, and parking on the streets costs €5 per hour. Zuid, West en Oost are also great areas to live in, and face less of these problems. They are also a bit more affordable. Other areas like Noord, Zuid-Oost and Nieuw-West are much cheaper in comparison. You might have to take the ferry or the metro, but it can definitely be worth it. The bad reputation they have is long outdated. They are much safer than they used to be and there are many new neighborhoods with lots of space and green, and, no parking issues at all. Have a walk around in all the neighborhoods before you set your mind on a particular one.
5. Have you done your homework?
Figure out which websites are the best for finding long term rentals in Amsterdam. There are so many, but lots of them are just a waste of time. Some are even flooded with scams. Make sure the listings are up to date, as some try to lure you in with listings that are not available, just so you sign up for their very expensive commission-based search service. So make sure you know which websites to use. There are also services that do a lot of the work for you. RentSlam for instance searches all the trustworthy websites hundreds of times a day for you and matches the new properties with your criteria, so you don’t waste any time and just need to apply for the ones you like. You can try our service at https://rentslam.com
6. Have you checked your personal network?
You know people, so ask them. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a long term rental in Amsterdam. Talk to your friends, family, colleagues etc. Many people find a place to rent through word of mouth. You can also use websites such as Facebook, Marktplaats and Craigslist. However, do so with extreme caution, as there are a lot of scams going around. If they ask you for payment before even having seen the apartment or ask you for payment through a transfer service like Western Union, it is almost guaranteed to be a scam. If you are in doubt, don’t do it.
7. Are you fast enough?
Many people hesitate too long. They like the apartment, but that one wall has an ugly color. Finally, they decide they want it, but it is now long gone. Long term rentals in Amsterdam are only on the market for a very short period of time. If you find a property that you like, make sure that apply for a viewing as soon as possible, preferably the same day. If after the viewing you decide you like it, say yes immediately. You can always paint that wall another color. If you wait too long, it will be gone. Would you like to be notified about new long term rental listings in Amsterdam as soon as they come available, then use https://rentslam.com
8. Are you well prepared?
Make sure you have all the documents you might need ready to hand over to the agent or to send in via their website. You will commonly be asked for an employment contract, pay slips, bank account statements and of course a copy of your official ID. If you have these prepared, you might just beat your competitors and get the house.
9. Am I supposed to pay commission?
When a long term rental in Amsterdam is listed online, then it is made available publicly and real estate agents are not allowed to charge you commission. Sometimes agents try and charge you a commission equal to 1 month rent anyway. If you refuse to pay, they won’t rent it to you. You could choose to pay it, and after you have moved in, ask for the commission to be refunded, pointing out the law. More often than not, you will get your money back.
10. Have you properly checked the contract?
Make sure you know what the contract says. Ask for an English translation if necessary. You don’t want to be surprised by clauses that might get you kicked out before the end of the contract period because of a diplomatic clause that you did not specifically agree to.
In summary, you need to be fast, flexible and careful when trying to find your new long term rental in Amsterdam. Do you want to do it the right way, safe yourself loads of time and respond much faster than others, then be sure to use RentSlam.