Apartments for rent in Amsterdam
So you are looking for apartments for rent in Amsterdam and don’t know where to start, or maybe you have started and are now lost on a multitude of websites, spending loads of time without results.
Follow these ten tips, and your search will become successful:
1. Know what you can rent
The housing market in Amsterdam is divided by law into 2 categories; Social Housing and Free Sector (private housing). Social Housing is affordable as it is regulated by the government. Social housing is generally priced under €711. The prices are fixed based on a points system. You are only eligible for these houses if your income falls below a certain threshold (€ 35.739 per year in 2016) and on top, you need to have many years on the waiting list. This last one is the most problematic. For any reasonable house, you need to have over 10 years on the waiting list if you want to have a chance of renting it. Which for most people looking to rent something, is not the case. If it is, check http://www.woningnetregioamsterdam.nl/ which is where all the social housing is offered. So If the above conditions don’t apply to you, stop wasting your time looking for a house under €711 euros, unless you are willing to rent a room in a shared house instead of private houses or apartments for rent in Amsterdam. For Free Sector housing get an account on rentslam.com
2. Have realistic expectations
We all want a house in the perfect location with lots of space, sunlight, garden, rooftop terrace, bathtub and preferably a parking space. The truth is, unless you have a very large bank account or a fat paycheck every month, chances of you finding a place like that are very slim. So you need to get that list of requirements and scrap everything off that is not an absolute “Must Have” and then take another look at the list and take off some more. It also makes sense to have another look at your budget. Sometimes by upping your budget a little, you can get a much better house. There is very little on offer in the free sector between €711 and €1.000 looking at apartments for rent in Amsterdam. As soon as you up your budget to €1250 for instance, you will have much more choice.
3. Have a second thought about location
Most people want to live in the center only, as it seems more fun, more convenient and safe. However, the center has its problems too. Parking can be horrific and very expensive. You might find yourself wasting hours every week just on finding a spot to park your car and you will pay a high price for it. Parking permits make it cheaper, but the waiting list in the center can be as long as 5 years. Areas outside the center, like West and Oost are very nice, have no parking issues and are generally safe as well. Noord is great and still has more affordable apartments for rent in Amsterdam. The only problem is taking the pond every day. Zuid-Oost is feared by many, as it has a bad reputation, but it has become a lot better over the years and is not unsafe anymore. It has new houses at very affordable prices. Be sure to check out the neighborhood before you narrow down your search to the city center only.
4. Do your homework
Research up front can save you lots of time. There are so many websites out there that offer apartments for rent in Amsterdam, but not all of them are good. Go to the websites that offer property and check when the latest post was, and the one before that. If there are only a couple of posts a month, don’t bother with the website. Often they are just using the posts to lure you in and pay them a commission to help you find a house. Of course, this can still be a useful service to you, but it will cost you. Also, many websites claim to help you by sending lots of property, however most of them don’t and you end up wasting another €10 or €20. Check what people are saying about these companies on the internet, and soon enough you will find if there are people completely disappointed with their service. You can of course try our service at rentslam.com where we do what we say and will send you most available property.
5. Use your network
Other than using the traditional ways online, you should also make use of your personal network. Let everyone, friends, family, colleagues etc. know that you are looking for a place. Also make use of Facebook. Post that you are interested in apartments for rent in Amsterdam. Lots of people find their new home through Facebook. Also keep your eyes open when in the supermarket, although this sounds outdated, in the Netherlands there are still people using little paper cards to offer their things or services on ad boards in the Albert Heijn supermarket for instance. You can obviously also try places such as www.marktplaats.nl or www.craigslist.com etc. However, be especially careful with them, as there are many scams on these sites. Be smart about this, and if you have doubts, don’t do it. You are better off using rentslam.com
6. Be very fast
If you do find a property that matches your criteria, do not hesitate, contact them immediately to schedule a viewing. If the property has been online for several hours, you are most likely too late, as hundreds will have already beaten you to it. And if you were fast enough, and got the viewing, do the same, don’t hesitate. If you like the property, tell them immediately that you want to rent it. Else it will be gone.
7. Be prepared
Agents can ask you for several documents. For example, they might ask you for pay slips, bank account statements and even an employment contract. If you have these prepared, you can send it to them as soon as they ask. This puts you in a good position. Other people might need some time to gather these documents, and before they send them over, the place might already be yours.
8. Respect the agent and/or owner
This may sound strange, but take into account that the Dutch are very punctual. If you arrive too late to a viewing or other appointment, you will probably not be rented the house. Also, be sure you come across serious and professional. If you are dressed like you don’t care about your appearance or are impolite, your chances of getting it will be slimmer. Don’t tell them about the great party you had last night or about the friends you want to invite over. And if you do want to have parties in the house every week, you are better off looking for a room in a student flat, else you will get into lots of trouble with the owner.
9. Pay the fees
There can be fees involved in renting a place. Administrative fees or a rental commission. However, the second, usually a 1-month rental fee can only be charged if the agent is representing you only, not the owner. If they represent the owner, then by law they cannot charge you as well, except for the much smaller administrative fee. Many agents try and get away with charging both sides. We recommend that you do not make any fuss about this if you like the place and really want it, maybe just ask them, but if you play it hardball, you will not get the house. After getting the contract and the keys, go back to the agent and make your case. Tell them that you read about them not being able to charge you as well as the owner, and demand a refund.
10. Check the contract
Make sure there are no clauses in there that can force you out, like a “Diplomaten clausule” unless you agreed to that with the owner and are good to move out 6 or 12 months later. If you have any doubts about the contract, have a Dutch friend or colleague read it for you.
To summarize it all up, you need to be smart, flexible and fast when trying to find your new home in Amsterdam. Don’t be afraid to spend some money but also don’t be taken for a fool. If you need to know more specific details or have a great addition to this list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and of course remember that the rentslam.com service is a great help for finding your next home in Amsterdam