Welcome to Rotterdam, for centuries the largest port in the world, and perhaps still the most important. Nowadays, Rotterdam is internationally known for its modern architecture, but the cultural sights are also enormous. Rotterdam was even named European Capital of Culture in 2001.
Okay, and now you. You want to move within the city, or you come from outside and have decided that you want to rent a house in this great city. Logical, but that is not a piece of cake. Rotterdam may not be the most expensive city to live in, but it is certainly not easy to find a nice home, so we will give you a hand.
What is the reason that it is not easy to get a rental property in Rotterdam? That is not difficult to explain. There are simply more people who need a rental home than rental properties available. That means that you have to outsmart your competitor (other rental property seekers). But how? We help you with this, we do that with a step-by-step guide. We share important information with you about the types of houses and the city districts. This makes your mission to rent a home a lot more feasible.
- Step-by-step guide: 10 things you need to do to get a rental home in Rotterdam..
- The city districts: In which parts of Rotterdam do you want to live?
- The costs: The cheapest rental properties in Rotterdam are in …?
- Type of housing: What type of house can you find in which neighborhood?
- Waiting list or not: Are you renting a social or private sector rental home?
- Questions: Frequently asked questions about renting a house in Rotterdam.
- RentSlam: Why should you use RentSlam?
Your guide to get a rental home in Rotterdam
Below you will find 10 steps you need to take to rent a house in Rotterdam. No matter how simple some steps are, many people go wrong in particular with those steps. Therefore, go through each step with due attention.
Step 1: Know what you want
To start, you must write down everything that your new house for rent must have on a list. The neighborhoods that you find interesting, how many bedrooms you want, how big the house should be, whether there is an outdoors area, the maximum rent you can pay, etc.
Step 2: Know what you can rent
Now you have to find out if you can really get what you would like to rent. This is why you now have to look on several websites to look for homes that match the things you wrote down in step 1. When searching, use a slightly higher budget than you have. Then you get a better picture of the houses that are available. When you start looking for real, you are of course using use your real budget.
Step 3: Make your list short
You probably found out in the previous step that the house you would ideally like to rent costs a lot more than you can spend. If not, you’re in luck, you can probably rent a house pretty quickly. For everyone else, erase the “nice to haves” so you can continue with a shorter list of just “must haves” left to go ahead and rent something within your budget.
Step 4: Which districts or neighborhoods?
The prices for rental properties differ a lot from district to district, so it pays to pay close attention when combining the districts (stadsdelen) with your maximum budget. Go for a walk or take a tour by bike through the “cheaper” parts of the city, which you initially did not consider, but may still be an possibility. If you like another neighborhood, it might be possible to rent a nicer home there than you can afford in one of your favorite “more expensive” districts. To help with this, you can have a look at the average square meter rental prices per district.
Step 5: Know where you should look
Houses for rent are offered literally through hundreds of websites, and not all of them are reliable. So you have to be sure that you are not looking in the wrong places. Free sector rental properties are offered by estate agents, housing corporations, aggregator websites, and of course via social media. Just skip the latter. It may certainly be possible to find a rental property on Facebook or on the so trusted Marktplaats, but a lot of people are getting scammed there, especially with rental properties, because it involves large amounts of money. So pay close attention if you want to do it anyway. Only searching on the most famous websites such as Pararius and Funda will usually not work. There is quite a bit of supply there, but it is only a small part of the total, and they are usually not listed there first.
Step 6: Respond very fast
Because an enormous number of people search for free sector rental properties, it is really important to respond very quickly to all properties that match the search criteria you have. Within hours of publication, there are usually dozens of candidates who have responded to the property. So if you wait an hour, you often come too late. You must really visit all the pages of step 5 minimum 10 times every day to have a chance, and actually that is still too little. When you find a great listing, respond immediately.
Extra Help: Finding rental properties is easier with RentSlam
Does it seem impossible, or just too much work, to revisit all those pages so often every day, hoping you can find a property in time to be the first to respond? Then do yourself a favor and ask for our help. RentSlam will take care of all searching and finding. We really scan almost every reliable page several hundred times every day and as soon as there is a suitable home, we send it by email within a few seconds. You can then submit an application in time and won’t have to sit behind your screen all day. And you will never hear “Sorry, but this property has been rented out already” ever again.
Step 7: Go to the house
When you receive an invitation to view the property, always be there on time and make sure you look neat. “Yes, duh” you might think, because that makes sense, but it often happens that candidates arrive too late or don’t look well taken care of at all. This ruins your chances for the home in question, but also for all those other homes that this agency will ever have in their portfolio. You just won’t be invited anymore. Simple yes, but take it seriously.
Step 8: Say YES
Have you been at viewing and you think that house is nice enough to rent, you should not hesitate. Immediately say YES to the landlord. Let them know you want to rent the property. And while you are at it, ask them what information and which documents they want (if you have them already with you, you will of course be ahead of the curve). What they almost always ask for: an employment contract, copy of ID, and often also pay slips. Do not hesitate too long, because then the house has already been rented to another candidate …
Step 9: Read the contract carefully
If you said at the viewing, and the landlord has also done so, then it starts getting exciting. They then give you a contract. Read this very carefully and pay attention to all the rules and clauses. Sometimes there is a clause that will give the landlord an explicit right to prematurely terminate the lease. For example a diplomatic clause. So pay close attention. Consider asking someone who has a lot of experience with contracts to take a look with you. Sign the contract as soon as you are convinced that everything is good.
Step 10: The Check in
The big moment has now arrived, you should get the keys. Together with the agent or landlord you walk through your new rental home. You now have to check everything thoroughly. If something is broken, report it immediately. Send them an email afterwards with all the things you have reported. Then you will have it in writing. Also take lots of photos of everything in the house and don’t forget the meter readings (Gas/Electricity/Water). Afterwards, that can avoid lots of headaches. It may help to get your deposit back if you ever leave the apartment.
Renting in the center of Rotterdam, Feijenoord or in Prins Alexander?
Rotterdam is split up into 14 districts and they all differ from one to the next. The houses are different, the local residents, the income and even the education level of the local residents can differ enormously. But perhaps even more important than all that is of course the atmosphere in the neighborhood. And that can be so different for everyone, because it is quite personal. Some people are devoted to Feijenoord and others will never leave the center.
What does a rental home in Rotterdam cost per in each district
Where are the cheapest and where the most expensive rental properties in Rotterdam? How does the price per district develop? We share all this information with you so you can get a good idea of where you would like to live and also for you to know where you will be able to find the most affordable properties for rent. We adjust this for you every quarter using the most recent number and information.
Fortunately, Rotterdam is not the most expensive city in the Netherlands, but cheap it is not… There are also neighborhoods where everything is still reasonably affordable. In the last quarter (October to December 2020), the average m2 price for free sector rental homes varied from € 13.19 in Prins Alexander to € 19.55 in the Center. There is still a lot in between in terms of m2 prices, so it certainly pays to take that into account in your decision.
The cheapest free-sector rental homes in Rotterdam this quarter are in Prins Alexander, Hoogvliet and IJsselmonde.
Below the latest figures (October to December):
rental properties in rotterdam € / m2 – 2020
rental properties in rotterdam € / m2 – 2019
*We have not included social rental homes in the comparison, otherwise the prices will show rather unrealistically low.
In which district will you rent your home?
You now know in which district you can get a property for rent within the budget you have, but it is also very important to know that you have a real chance. With RentSlam you will not have to search hours on end every day and you will almost always respond as first. Because of this, you will receive an invitation to viewings much more often, which means you will therefore be able to rent a home much faster.
Type of rental properties in Rotterdam
What types of homes can you rent in Rotterdam. Well, basically all types of homes. From small apartments to larger family houses and even “unique” cube houses. Which type of home suits you best, and in what part of the city do you find the largest number of them?
Studio or 1 bedroom apartment
If you are searching rental property alone or together with your spouse of life partner, you will probably be after a 2-room apartment, that would be a living room and 1 bedroom. But you can also consider renting a studio. Yes, the living room and bedroom are one and the same, but you will have more properties to chose from. The rent of studio apartments is usually also lower, which is an advantage.
Below you can see how many private sector rental properties fall within the studio apartment or 2-room apartment category, which were rented out per district in Rotterdam in the past year:
|District||Number of Properties|
Are you looking for a home for yourself and your spouse of life partner and child, or do you want to share an apartment with friends? Then you should look for a 3-room house, or apartment or flat with 2 bedrooms. If you are looking with 3 people, without a child, i.e. you are not a family, all a bit more difficult. There are extra rules for sharers. Sharing with the two of you is no problem. If you are going to share a home with 3 or more people, look at the section about single-family homes below.
Below you can see how many free sector apartments for rent that have 2 bedrooms have been rented out in Rotterdam in the past year, divided over the city districts:
|District||Number of Properties|
Do you need a rental home for a whole family, or do you want to live together with friends, then that is a difficult task in Rotterdam. Relatively speaking, there are fewer rental properties with 3 bedrooms or more. These are usually also very expensive. Below is a list of city districts where you can best focus your search. If you want to share, be aware that not every home is suitable for or rented out to sharers. If you want to know more about this, check out the frequently asked questions.
Below you can see how many private sector rental houses and apartments have been rented out in Rotterdam in the past year that have 3 bedrooms or more, spread over the city districts:
|District||Number of Properties|
Waiting list or not – Social rent vs free sector rental property?
A distinction must be made between social housing and free-sector rental housing. The government has set the limit for social housing rentals this year at € 752. But if you want to qualify for these cheap rental properties, there are criteria you must meet, such as an income that is not too high. All information concerning the rules for renting a social rental home is available at https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/sociale-huurwoning
What is disappointing is that if you really meet all those conditions, it does not mean that you can also rent a social sector rental home in Rotterdam. Unfortunately, there is a very long waiting list for these homes at Woningnet. It depends a bit on the requirements you have, but it can easily take 10 to 15 years before it is your turn. Not really a possibility for most people. What remains are therefore the rentals in the free sector, which are a lot more expensive.
Free-sector rental in Rotterdam
If you plan to rent a house in Rotterdam before you retire, you cannot wait until you are at the top of the waiting list, so you should look for a rental property in the free sector. So also be prepared for a rental price that is considerably higher (above € 752).
If your budget is on the tight side, look in the districts with the lowest m2 prices. If you are looking alone, and the studio apartments and the 2-room apartments are too expensive, think about sharing a house with someone else. You have less privacy, however, on the other hand you have a higher budget together and can therefore rent a house more easily.
Frequently asked questions regarding renting in Rotterdam
What about income requirements?
All agencies and landlords must guarantee their income and therefore want you to be able to demonstrate income in every case. That makes sense, otherwise they might not get the rent paid.
- Housing associations are the most difficult. They have income requirements that are very strict. Usually you have to have 3x the rental amount as gross income. They hardly ever allow a guarantor. If you want to rent with the two of you, they often even ask 4x the rental amount as gross income and count the income of the person who earns the least for only 40%.
- Real estate agents are usually less strict. Of course they also have guidelines and also want to make sure that you can pay the rent. But it is usually less strict than with the housing associations. They sometimes also use something called “Bo-Ex rental guide” with which they calculate whether someone has enough income and / or capital to rent a house, savings or other assets can also be taken into account. Using a guarantor is also possible with some real estate agents.
- Private owners/landlords are a lot easier and often have simpler requirements. Of course they still want to know that you are going to pay the rent every month. So they really will not rent out their house for € 1100 per month to people without work or with a net income of € 1200 per month. However, they are much more willing to offer you a contract if you have a guarantor. Unfortunately, on the other hand, private landlords often charge a higher rent.
What about housing benefit?
Rent subsidy is available for people with a certain maximum income who live in a house with a calculated rent below the liberalization limit. This means that normally you can will only be able toreceive housing benefit if you have a social rental home. To avoid any confusion, RentSlam does not find Social rental properties, but really only free-sector rental properties. So if you want housing subsidy, register on a waiting list at Woningnet.
I am a student, am I able to rent a home in Rotterdam?
Of course that’s possible. However, as a student it is often more difficult to get a house for rent in Rotterdam. It is often a problem that you do not meet any income requirements. Experience shows that a large amount of students do succeed. Especially when they search together, so that they have a more budget to pay a higher rent (for a house with several bedrooms) and often also engage a guarantor or some other form of help from, for example, their parents. So don’t worry, it is certainly possible. With RentSlam you have the option to filter properties that are not suitable for students from the results, which saves time.
Can I share a home with friends?
Sharing rental properties with friends is certainly an option. It does depend on the situation. If you want to share with a maximum of 2 people in total, then it is almost never a problem, only when the landlord is specifically against it. That is rarely the case though. Sharing with 3 people or more is a lot more difficult. Every year, the government comes up with new rules in the hope of improving the housing market. In 2020, house sharing with 3 or more will classified as “room rental”. So yes, it is difficult, but not impossible. At RentSlam you can use the filter “sharers not allowed” if you do not want to receive homes that may are not allowed to be shared by 3 people or more. Here the link to the information about renting a house onde the room rental rules: https://www.rotterdam.nl/wonen-leven/op-kamers/
I respond to many properties but I hardly ever get a reply, how come?
This is often a problem. Many people run into this. The main reason for this is that you unfortunately react too late and are therefore not one of the first 10 or so people that have responded. Unfortunately, the landlords are so busy that they don’t have time to (or don’t feel like) responding to every incoming request. So you have to make sure you are really one the first few who responded by responding much faster. With RentSlam you can always respond the fastest.
Another problem is that many people write things when responding that set off the alarm bells with the landlords. A simple example: “I am a drummer as profession and…” or “Hello, I am unemployed, but…”. When you write such things, you make it impossible for yourself, you don’t get a response. If you want our help drafting a good response text, we can help you.
Are you the fastest?
So it is really super important to be the first to respond. You are certainly not the only person looking for those beautiful rental properties in Rotterdam. So if you really want to have a chance, respond as quickly as possible to any home that meet your requirements. That is certainly difficult, especially because all those homes are offered throughout the day, and even at night, via many different sites and at completely different times.
We can help you. You can use RentSlam. RentSlam searches every reliable website several hundreds of times every day 24/7. This means you can respond much faster to those beautiful rental properties in Rotterdam. You also have a much higher chance of renting a house much faster, and you save a lot of time.
We wish you lots of success in your mission to find your new rental home in Rotterdam. If you decide you want our help, get a subscription with RentSlam.