Welcome to Amsterdam, our beautiful capital city. You already live here or want to live here soon. That is fantastic, but finding a place to live in Amsterdam is very difficult, so we will help you with that.
Why is renting in Amsterdam so incredibly difficult? Well, that is actually very simple. There are simply many more people looking for a rental property than there are properties for rent in Amsterdam. So how do you ensure that you manage to get hold of that awesome apartment? We have created a simple step-by-step guide for you. We also provide you with important information per city district and housing type so that you can search even more efectively.
- Step-by-step guide: The 10 important steps to rent a house in Amsterdam.
- City districts: Which areas are interesting for you to live in?
- The cost: Where to find the cheapest apartments for rent in Amsterdam?
- Types of properties: What types of houses exist and where to find them?
- With or without waiting list: Social rent vs free sector rentals.
- Questions: Frequently asked questions regarding renting in Amsterdam.
- RentSlam: Why you should use RentSlam?
Step-by-step guide to rent an apartment in Amsterdam
Below are the 10 steps that you really need to go through if you want to have a good chance of renting a house in Amsterdam fast. Some steps may seem too obvious, but experience shows that many home seekers still get it wrong, so take every step seriously.
Step 1: Know what you want
In this first step, you need to make a list everything you would like to find in your new rental home. The neighborhoods you want to live in, the number of bedrooms you need, the square meters, outdoor space, the maximum rental price, etc.
Step 2: Know what you can get
Now it is time to find out whether you can actually get what you want. That is why in this step you are going to look around on various websites and look for houses that match your list from step 1. Use a budget that is slightly higher than you actually have in your search. This way you get a good idea of what is available. Once you start for real, you are, of course, going to use your actual budget.
Step 3: Shorten the list
Chances are that you have come to the conclusion in step 2 that your ideal apartment is a lot more expensive than your budget allows. If not, congratulations, you belong to the very small group of people who can consider themselves lucky and you will probably be able to rent a place without too much difficulty. If you are not one of the lucky ones, you should now delete all “nice to haves” from your list so that you can continue with the shortest list possible, containing only “must haves” in order to be able to rent an apartment within your maximum budget.
Step 4: Focus on location
The rental prices vary enormously from neighborhood to neighborhood, so it is wise to pay extra attention to the neighborhoods in combination with your budget. For example, go for a nice walk or cycle through a number of “cheaper” locations in the city that are not on your list, but could be an option. If you do like any other part of the city, you might be able to rent a nicer or better home than in your favorite “more expensive” neighborhoods. To help you with this, you can see the average rent per square meter per neighborhood below.
Step 5: Know where to look
Rental properties are listed on hundreds of reliable and less reliable websites, so it is really important to make sure you know about them. For free sector rental properties you have housing associations, real estate agents, aggregator websites and social media. It is best to just skip the latter. Sometimes you can find a home via Facebook or Marktplaats, but many people are just scammed there, so if you do, be careful. Just searching on a few pages such as Funda or Pararius is not enough in practice. They have a lot to offer, but not everything and they are certainly not always the first to list the property.
Step 6: respond super fast
Because so many people are looking for a rental property, it is very important that you respond super fast to any house that matches your search criteria. A few hours after listing a house, dozens of responses have already been received, and then you will be too late if you only then send in you response. You really have to revisit all those pages from step 5 at least 10 times a day to have any chance and even that is probably not enough either. If you find something, respond immediately.
Extra help: with RentSlam it is much easier to find an apartment for rent
Does it seem like an impossible task to refresh all those sites so many times a day in the hope that you will find a new listing in time to respond? Then you are smart to get some help. RentSlam does all the searching and matching work for you. We scan all reliable pages hundreds of times a day and send you the houses matching your search profile within seconds. This way you can always respond on time without having to spend hours a day on this task, and without constantly hearing “Sorry, this house has already been rented”.
Step 7: Go to viewings
When you are invited to come and view an apartment, be on time and look fresh. “Yeah, duh” I hear you think, because this sounds no more than logical. But it still happens all too often that people come too late and / or look totally shabby. This not only kills your chances to get this appartment, but also all other houses that this rental company offers. You will no longer be invited for any of them. As simple as it may sound, take this seriously.
Step 8: Say YES immediately
If you have been to a viewing of a house and you think you want to rent it, do not hesitate. Immediately tell the agency that you would like to rent it. Ask what documents they need from you (even better if you already have them with you, of course). What they usually ask you for is a copy of your ID, an employment contract and pay slips. If you hesitate too long, it will have already been rented to someone else …
Step 9: Check the contract
When you have said yes in step 8, and the other party has also chosen you, it starts to get really exciting. You will now be offered a contract. You should check this contract very carefully. Pay close attention to all conditions. Sometimes there are clauses, such as a diplomatic clause, which gives the landlord the right to cancel the contract early to move in him/herself. So pay attention to that. If necessary, ask a friend who has more experience with this to also look at the contract. Only sign the contract if everything is as expected.
Step 10: Check in
Now the time has come, you will receive the keys to your new home. You go through the house together with the agency. Check everything carefully. If there are any defects, report them immediately and make sure they write them down and confirm them to you in writing. Take pictures of the house and also of the meter readings (gas, water, electricity). This can save you a lot of headache afterwards and can help you get your security deposit back by the time you leave the house.
Renting in Amsterdam Zuid, Noord in the Center?
Amsterdam is divided into 7 districts and each district is unique. The houses look different, the composition of the residents is different and even the average income and education level differs enormously per neighborhood. But perhaps most important of all is the atmosphere. And precisely that is very personal. One person loves Amsterdam East, and the other would never live anywhere else than in Oud Zuid.
According to many, the center of Amsterdam is really the most unique part of Amsterdam. The beautiful canals in the city center, also called the Venice of the North. The cozy Jordaan and the trendy 9 streets. There is a favorite neighborhood within the center for everyone. But it also has negative sides, such as the parking problem… It is better not to have a car if you want to live in the center. The rental prices are also tough, but more about that later.
Unfortunately, many think that Amsterdam North is uninviting and gray … But the opposite is true. There is a lot of greenery and more and more nice places are opening up all the time. For some, north is already “the place to be”. In terms of rental prices, Amsterdam North is also a lot cheaper than the center, east and west, while you are close to it. There is a good metro connection and parking in Noord is a lot easier than elsewhere, so if you have a car …
You have so many cozy bars in Amsterdam East. In terms of nightlife, there is much more to do here than most people think. And then the beautiful Oosterpark and Artis… we can go on and on. It was not a popular part of the city, but a lot has changed in recent years. Definitely worth it and a favorite for many.
You would think that it should be a lot easier to rent a house in Amsterdam West. But nothing is less true. West is definitely one of the top 3 most popular districts in Amsterdam. Yes, there are only 7… but still, the Westerpark, Westergas, Ten Katemarkt, de Hallen etc… too many to mention. And also very expensive to rent …
It always sounds so far away when people say they live in Nieuw West, but it’s not that bad, depending on where you live. You can get to the center in no time, by bicycle or tram. And besides a range of nice places and tasty restaurants, there is a big advantage to Nieuw-West. It is one of the cheapest districts to rent a house.
The most beloved part of the city for many… Amsterdam South, especially Oud-Zuid, is chic, beautiful, cozy and just a very nice place to live, perhaps the nicest part of Amsterdam. Anyway, this of course also means that it is one of the most expensive districts in terms of rental prices. But also in terms of nightlife, restaurants and cafes … Almost everything is slightly more upscale and a little more expensive, but well worth it, if you can afford it.
Unfortunately, there is the impression that Amsterdam South-East is very unsafe. And in all fairness, it certainly used to be. But a lot has changed in recent years. It has become much safer. Lots of greenery, lots of new construction, lots of shopping facilities, etc. The rental prices are especially attractive. South-East has been one of the cheapest districts to rent for years.
Amstelveen, Diemen and Duivendrecht
Of course these are not districts of Amsterdam, but for many these 3 are a good alternative because they are so close to Amsterdam that they are sometimes even mistaken for Amsterdam. The houses in Amstelveen, but especially in Diemen and Duivendrecht, are often a lot cheaper than in most parts of Amsterdam. So, for the sake of convenience, we’ll include them in the numbers we’re going to share with you below.
The cost of renting in Amsterdam per quarter and by city district
In which neighborhoods do you find the cheapest rental properties in Amsterdam and in which the most expensive? We tell you exactly what the price development is per district, based on all data from the past quarter, so that you know where you can rent the cheapest. We update it every quarter with the latest figures and data.
To get straight to the point, Amsterdam is very expensive. But there certainly are neighborhoods where it is relatively cheap. In the past quarter (Oktober to December 2020), the average m2 prices in the free sector ranged from € 19.02 in Nieuw-West to € 27.31 in the Center. That is quite a big difference. But if you look just across the border, you can rent the cheapest in Duivendrecht, on average for € 14.63 per square meter.
The cheapest rental properties in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas can be found in Duivendrecht, Diemen, Nieuw-West and Zuidoost this quarter.
Below the latest numbers (October – December):
apartment rentals in amsterdam €/m2 – 2020
apartment rentals in amsterdam €/m2 – 2019
*Social rental housing has been left out of consideration in order to show the fairest possible comparisn, otherwise the m2 prices would be much lower.
In which neighborhood are you going to rent an apartment?
Now that you know in which neighborhood you can rent a house within your budget, it is of course important to make sure that you really have a good chance of getting it. By using RentSlam, you no longer have to search for hours a day, and you are always one of the first to respond. As a result, you will be invited for viewings more often and you can get a rental property much faster.
Types of properties for rent in Amsterdam
There are of course all kinds of properties for rent in Amsterdam. From small studios to immensely large family homes. You can find apartments in every size, even on the canals. So… which type of house suits you best and in which neighborhood are most of those houses to be found?
Studio’s and 2-room apartments
If you are looking for a house on your own or with your partner, you will often look for a 2-room apartment, so a house with 1 bedroom and a living room. But perhaps it is also an option to consider a studio apartment. Yes, your living room and bedroom will not be separated, but there will be more options to choose from. The prices of studio apartments are often a bit lower as well, so maybe that helps.
Below is the amount of free sector studio apartments and 2-room houses that were offered for rent in Amsterdam in the past 12 months per district:
|City district||number of listings|
Are you looking for an apartment with your partner and child, or with a friend? Then you probably need a 3-room apartment, an apartment with 2 bedrooms and a living room. Keep in mind that if you are looking to share with 3 people or more, it is even more difficult due to the extra rules that apply to sharers. You don’t have that problem with 2 people sharing. For sharing with 3 or more people, look below at family homes.
Below is the number of free sector rental apartments with 2 bedrooms that were offered for rent in Amsterdam in the past 12 months per district:
|City district||number of listings|
Are you looking for a rental property for you and your family, or with several friends, then you have quite a task in Amsterdam. There are relatively fewer houses with 3 or more bedrooms. And, these are often very expensive. But here’s an overview of the best areas to find them, to help you get started. If you plan to share, keep in mind that not all houses are intended or suitable for sharing. For more information, see the frequently asked questions below.
Below is the number of free sector houses and apartments for rent with 3 or more bedrooms that were offered for rent in Amsterdam in the past 12 months per district:
|City district||number of listings|
Sociale rent or free sector housing?
Of course we have to make a distinction here between social rental housing and free sector rental housing. Social rental properties are rental properties with a calculated rent of up to € 737 (set by the government for the year 2020). But to be eligible for this, your income must meet certain criteria. You can find detailed information about the rules regarding social housing at https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/sociale-huurwoning
The annoying thing is that even when you meet those conditions, you cannot immediately get a social rental home in Amsterdam. There is an incredibly long waiting list at Woningnet. Depending on your wishes and requirements, this can be between 10 and 15 years. Not an option for most of us. So what remains are the more expensive free sector rental homes.
Free sector apartment rentals in amsterdam.
So if you want to rent an apartment in Amsterdam quickly, without getting on a long waiting list, you will have to look for a free sector apartment for rent. You will have to take into account a higher rent (above € 737).
If you are on a tight budget, search in the neighborhoods where the m2 price is the lowest. If you are searching on your own, and a studio or 2-room apartment is too expensive, consider sharing a 3-room apartment (2 bedrooms) with someone. You will have less privacy, but a better chance of renting a house due to a higher joint budget.
Frequently asked questions about renting in Amsterdam
Are there income requirements?
Most rental agencies want to see that you have some form of income. Logical, because they want to make sure that the rent is paid.
- Housing associations have strict income requirements. They usually ask 3x the rent as gross income and often do not allow guarantors. When renting with 2 or more people, it is often 4x the rent, where the income of the lowest-earning person only counts for 40%.
- Real Estate agents sometimes have comparable income requirements to those of the housing associations, but are often less strict. If you come close it is often good enough. Sometimes they use the “Bo-Ex rental guide” to see if someone complies. This usually comes down to somewhere between 2 and 3 times the rent as gross income, taking into account any savings, etc. Guarantors are sometimes possible.
- Private landlords usually have no fixed requirements, but of course want to see that you can afford the rent. They will not just rent out a home for € 1000 per month to someone who has € 1200 net per month to spend. They are often willing to work with a guarantor. On the other hand, they often ask for a somewhat higher rent.
Can I get rent subsidy?
Rent subsidy can only be obtained when the calculated rent does not exceed the liberalization limit. In practice, this usually means that you can only receive rent subsidy for social rental housing. Just to be clear, RentSlam only finds free sector rental properties. So you cannot apply for rent subsidy for them.
As a student, can I also rent a house in Amsterdam?
As a student you can certainly also rent a house in Amsterdam. The problem is that you often will not meet the income requirement. We know from experience that several students succeed. Mainly because they often search together and therefore have a larger budget and often make use of a guarantor or other kind of help from their parents. It is certainly possible, but it is a lot more difficult. At RentSlam you can use a filter to filter out all properties that do not allow students.
Can I share an apartment with friends?
Sharing a rental property is certainly possible. But it does depend a bit on the situation. Sharing with a maximum of 2 people is never a problem, unless the landlord himself is against it. Fortunately, that is not very often. Sharing with 3 or more people is more difficult. In 2017, the government came up with extra rules that make it a bit more difficult. In 2020 these rules were adjusted again and it now falls under the heading “room rental”. It’s tricky, but it’s certainly not impossible. You can use the filter “sharing not allowed” at RentSlam if you prefer not to receive those properties that may not be shared. Here is a link to the rules regarding room rental (house sharing with 3 or more): https://www.amsterdam.nl/kamerverhuur
I respond to listings often but never get an answer, why is that?
This is a problem that affects almost everyone, the reason for this is usually that you are not among the first 5 or 10 people who responded. Unfortunately, rental agencies are so busy responding to all requests that they often don’t even send a response to the people who respond last. What you can do is to make sure that you apply much faster. RentSlam can help you with this.
Another problem is that often things are written when applying that immediately set off alarm bells for landlords. Extreme examples: “I play the drums in a band…” or “I have no income, but…”. That makes it very difficult, you often get no response at all. If you need help preparing the correct application text, please let us know, we can advise you on this.
Are you fast enough?
Being the first to apply is really very important. You are not the only one looking for a rental apartment in Amsterdam. So if you want to have a real chance, you just have to respond to as many properties as possible as soon as possible. That is very difficult, especially because those apartments are listed at different times throughout the day and on many different websites.
You can use RentSlam to help you with this. We search hundreds of times a day on all reliable websites 24/7. This allows you to apply much faster and you have a much better chance of renting an apartment quickly. It also saves you a lot of time.
Good luck in your search for a nice rental home in Amsterdam. And if you want our help, register for an account with RentSlam.