Welcome to Utrecht, our cathedral city. With its beautiful canals, many gates and courtyards, Utrecht is one of the most beautiful cities in the Randstad. Not only beautiful, but also large, it is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and its central location makes it an ideal location to live and work.
You are going to work or study in Utrecht, so you must find a great rental home in Utrecht. Exciting, but also difficult, because Utrecht has become quite expensive in recent years. So you need to have a good budget, or at least a solid strategy. It just so happens to be that we have the latter ready for you.
You really need the step-by-step guide, because it is very difficult to get a home for rent in Utrecht. Why would that be? Simple, the demand for rental properties in Utrecht is many times greater than the supply. So if you want to be successful, you must be ahead of your competitors. This step-by-step guide will ensure that. In addition, we will also show you all the important information you need regarding all types of housing and in which districts you should look. Your challenge to get a home for rent is therefore many times more feasible.
- Step-by-step guide: 10 steps to quickly rent a home in Utrecht.
- The city districts: Which city districts are good for your needs to search in?
- The costs: What are the districts in Utrecht where you can find relatively cheap rental properties?
- Type of rental housing: In which neighborhood are which types of rental housing most common?
- Waiting lists or not: Do you get social housing or do you have to search in the free sector?
- Questions: What questions are often asked about rental properties in Utrecht?
- RentSlam: Why is it much easier to rent a house with our help?
Step-by-step plan to get your rental house in Utrecht
Below 10 steps make your search for renting a home in Utrecht successful. Some steps are self-explanatory, but it is precisely those things that people often go wrong. So don’t think, yes duh, but take them really seriously.
Step 1: What do I want to rent
Before you start searching, you must make a complete list of all the conditions that your rental home must meet. Write down in which neighborhoods you you would consider to live, what you can spend on rent, the bedrooms you need and how many square meters you want, etc..
Step 2: What can I rent
Now that you know what it is that you want, you also need to know what is possible. To find out, it is important to do research. Browse different housing websites with your search requirements from step 1. Enter the budget a little higher, then you can see what is available, because perhaps what you want is slightly more expensive than your budget allows. Then you know that you have to adjust some of your criteria. Of course you will search within your maximum budget once you start for real.
Step 3: Shorten your list
If you unfortunately figured out the step previous to this one, that your estimated budget does not allow you to rent your ideal home, then you now have to take things off your list. Step by step, remove your “nice to haves” and try again until you achieve the desired result or only have “must haves” left on your list.
Step 4: Which neighborhoods or Districts
All city districts differ with regard to rental prices, so you would do well to take that into account when you search. It is best to go and visit the districts that are cheaper and are not included on your list. Who knows, maybe you like them and you can rent a much nicer house there for the same budget. We have already selected for you where the cheapest rental properties in Utrecht can be found. Have a read through the average rent per square meter per district .
Step 5: Knowing where to look
Rental properties can be found on many different websites, most of them are reliable, but unfortunately there are also bad websites. So make absolutely sure you are aware of where you need to actively search. Free sector property listings for rent can be found on the websites of real estate agents and housing associations, but of course also on collection websites and social media. Forget the social media, unless it comes through acquaintances. It helps if you know the landlord personally, but if not, be very, very careful. Many are being ripped off with rental properties via Facebook and Marktplaats. Just using collection websites like Pararius and maybe also Funda to search on, is an option, but in practice it often does not work. The amount of listings may seem large, but there is so much more that is offered and not on those sites. And often the houses are already on other sites a few days earlier, so you will often be too late via these collection websites.
Step 6: Respond within a minute
Sometimes it makes you hopeless to hear how many people around you are also looking for rental property. Everyone responds the same day and 50 or more responses are received for most listings. So do you really want to have a chance to rent a nice home, then you just have to be among the first 10 people who respond to a home. Do that about 20 times and then you should definitely get a home. But how do you react earlier than those other 40? You do this by responding within a few minutes of publication. If you only find the home a few hours after it comes online, forget it. So you have to visit all pages that you put on your list in the previous step at least about 10 times or more a day, then you have a chance. When you finally find a nice home, you really have to respond immediately.
Extra help: Renting a home is really easier when you have RentSlam
So much work… revisiting websites that many times throughout the day, and still very often too late to respond. Who wants to do that? We don’t!!! That’s why we started RentSlam. If you want to automate your search, get an account at RentSlam. It takes all those time-consuming tasks of finding and comparing off your hands. We also find many more homes than you can find yourself. We do this by visiting all reliable websites more than a hundred times a day. As soon as a home is added that matches your search profile, you will have it in your inbox within a minute. This allows you to respond so quickly that you will no longer hear “ Sorry, you are too late, this house is already rented “, and all without the need to refresh your screen even once.
Step 7: View the property
If you are allowed come and see the house, do so and do not be late. Also take care that you look descent. “Logical” you think, but you have no idea how many people are getting this wrong. If you are not on time, the landlord is really not going to wait for you. Do you look like you have been lying under a bridge for the past few weeks, forget it, they really won’t rent the house to you. And you no longer have a chance with this house, but also not with the other (future) houses that they will be renting out. It is therefore logical, but it still had to be said.
Step 8: Don’t wait, say YES immediately
Viewed your property? Interested in renting it? Do not wait and tell the landlord immediately that you are interested and would love to rent the house. hesitate too long and someone else has already rented it. Extra tip, ask what they want to see in terms of documentation and send it to them immediately. Think of your identity card (a copy), your employment contract, a couple of salary slips, etc.
Step 9: Look carefully at the contract
If you immediately gave the landlord the yes word in the previous step, and that was mutual, then the big moment has now arrived. The contract is now coming your way. You really have to read this carefully. Pay attention to every clause and ask for any documents mentioned in the contract. Be aware of certain clauses that can dissolve the contract, such as the well-known diplomat clause. If necessary, ask someone who understands rental contracts to have a look at it as well. If you are sure that it is all right, sign the contract. Congratulations!
Step 10: The last step, check in
The time has finally come, now you finally get the keys that open your new accommodation, you can move into your new rental home. Walk around in your new home together with the landlord. Check everything carefully, look behind every door and note any cracks in the wall or loose hinges etc. You must immediately report anything that is not completely in order. Be sure to write it all down in an email to the landlord afterwards. If necessary, take photos and send them as well. You should certainly also check the meter readings. These things ensure that whenever you will leave the house again, you will not be faced with a bill that has nothing to do with your use and you can therefore get your deposit back in full.
Renting in Utrecht city center, South or perhaps in Leidsche Rijn?
The city of Utrecht is separated into 9 districts. Each of these districts is slightly different from the others. The houses differ from each other, the residents in each district, and things such as education level and income are really different for each neighborhood. What often counts the most is the atmosphere, which is also different in every district. So where are you going to live, in Southwest, Overvecht, or in the city center? Further on you can read more about the city districts and the types of houses with their price per m2.
How much do you have to pay for a rental property in Utrecht?
The cheap rental homes in Utrecht, but of course also the more expensive apartments, can be divided reasonably well by district. How has that price changed over the years? We have collected this information for you to give you a good insight into which neighborhoods can be interesting for renting a home. You will see in which districts the cheapest houses in Utrecht are for rent. We add the latest figures for you every quarter.
Utrecht has become absurdly expensive in recent years, and is now not that different from Amsterdam in terms of rental prices. On the other hand, there are still quite a few places in Utrecht where it is still affordable. To show the difference, in the previous quarter (October up and until December 2020), you see that the average rental price per m2 for homes in the free sector was between € 14.64 in Leidsche Rijn and € 24.95 in the city center. That is a really big difference. So it is definitely smart to to take this information into account when you are searching.
The cheapest properties for rent in the free sector of Utrecht can now be found in Leidsche Rijn, Overvecht and Southwest.
Below the latest figures (October to December):
apartments for rent in Utrecht €/m2 – 2020
apartments for rent in Utrcht €/m2 – 2019
* Rental properties in the so-called social rental sector are not included in order not to present a skewed picture. The prices per m2 would be a lot lower if they were included.
In which Utrecht district are you planning to rent your home?
Now you should have a good idea of where you can afford to rent a nice home working with the budget that you have. It is now important to ensure that it actually works. If you use RentSlam , you no longer have to spend a few hours in front of your computer every day to find rental properties so that you can respond first. You will also be invited to viewings way more often. Consequently, you will now also be able to actually rent a house much faster.
Types of properties that can be rented in Utrecht
What types of rental properties are available for rent in Utrecht. In principle, all types can be found. Small apartments, large family homes, studios, etc. Which type suits your situation well and in which districts you can find more of them?
Studio apartments and 2-room houses
If you are going to live there all by yourself, or with a partner, you are most likely looking for a relatively smaller home such as a studio apartment or a 2-room house. The latter are homes with not just 1 room, but a living room and also a separate bedroom. If you don’t mind having the bedroom and living room in one, you’re in luck, because the rental prices for studio apartments are generally lower, so that makes a difference in the monthly costs.
Below you can have a look at how many rental properties in the free sector, such as a studio apartment and / or 2-room house, were let in Utrecht last year, divided over the districts:
|District||Number of properties|
2 bedroom Apartments or houses
Do you want a rental home for you, your partner and your child, or are you looking to share a roof over your head together with a friend. Then look for a rental apartment with 3 rooms, or an apartment that has at least 2 bedrooms. Are you looking for a rental home to share with 3 people or more, then it will be quite a lot more difficult as there are new rules for people who want to share. Sharing with a total of 2 people is no problem. To share with 3 people or more, look further down at family homes.
Below you can have a look at how many rental homes in the private sector, with 2 bedrooms, were rented out to tenants in Utrecht last year, divided by district:
|District||Number of properties|
If you are looking for a home to rent with a whole family, then logically you are looking for a Family home. But even if you want to share with several friends / girlfriends, you also need a house with 3 bedrooms or even more and you usually end up with the Family homes. Unfortunately, there are relatively fewer of these types of homes available in Utrecht and they are usually also quite expensive, so make sure you have an appropriate budget. Below you can see at a glance where most of these homes are offered. This way you can quickly search for specific purposes. If you fall into the category 3 or more sharers, know that not all properties listed meet the condition to be rented out in this way. For more information on this topic, see the frequently asked questions.
Below you will find how many rental properties in the private sector, with 3 bedrooms or more, were rented to tenants in Utrecht last year, divided by district:
|District||Number of properties|
On a waiting list for a house in the social sector or renting directly in the free sector?
It is great when you can get social housing, because they are very cheap compared to the free sector. However, you will end up on a very long waiting list, so it makes no sense if you have to move soon. The boundary between social rent and rental homes in the free sector has been set at € 752 by the government this year. If you meet all (income) conditions to get a social rental home, it is good to register anyway, you never know when it will come in handy. The information concerning social housing can be found here https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/sociale-huurwoning
If you don’t have the time or don’t feel like waiting until it’s finally your turn, you can look for a free sector home to rent in Utrecht. You will then have a home more quickly, but you will pay more rent.
Free sector rental homes in Utrecht
So you are looking to rent a place to live in the beautiful city of Utrecht quickly without being on a waiting list for years, then you are renting a free sector rental house. Then you have to search with a budget of (far) above € 752.
If you have a budget that is not too high, look for city districts where the average m2 price is lower than average. If you have been looking by yourself, but soon find out that a studio apartment and / or a 2-room house is well above your budget, consider renting a 2-bedroom house and sharing it with someone else. Less privacy, yes, but if there is no other option, then it is still worth considering.
Frequently asked questions – rental properties in Utrecht
What about income requirements?
Anyone who rents out a home naturally wants to make sure that they get the rent paid and will therefore always ask you to prove that you can pay the rent, which is only logical. But what about the different types of landlords?
- Housing associations have very strict income requirements. In most cases they ask 3x the amount of rent as a salary (gross). They pretty much never allow using a guarantor. And on top, if you want to rent a house on the basis of 2 incomes, you can assume 4x the rent as gross income. Sometimes they count the lowest of the 2 incomes for a maximum of only 40% to calculate if you are eligible or not.
- Real estate agents are sometimes less strict. You will also have to prove income with them and they also have certain calculation methods, but these are more feasible than with housing associations. Sometimes they use the so-called “Bo-Ex rental guide” to determine whether you earn enough or whether you have enough capital to be able to rent a particular home. Sometimes they also take savings into account. Often you can also rent with a guarantor.
- Private landlords are a lot less difficult. Of course you also have to prove income, but they often have no rules regarding how high that income should be. But don’t think they are going to rent you their home if it is clear you cannot afford it. Guarantors, on the other hand, are often possible. The rent is often a lot higher than with real estate agents and housing associations, though.
Is housing benefit an option?
Rent subsidy is for anyone who does not exceed an income set by the government and who rents a house that has a rental price that does not exceed the liberalization limits they set. This means housing benefit is actually only possible if you rent a house in the social rental sector. RentSlam only works for free sector properties for rent, so if you really want to receive housing subsidy, you have to register with Woningnet.
I am still studying, can I get a rental home in Utrecht?
Yes, you can. But you do run into a number of problems. You will usually not meet particular income requirements, and sometimes the landlord would prefer not to rent out to students. Fortunately, many students manage to rent a place anyway. Make sure you have someone who can act as guarantor. And if you can’t afford the rent on your own, look for a house with at least 2 bedrooms together with a friend. Together you have a higher budget. In the search profiles that you can set at RentSlam, you have the option of not receiving rental properties which will not be rented to students by turning on filters. That way you don’t waste time.
Can I share a rental property with someone?
Sharing rental properties with someone is possible. Of course it depends on your particular situation. Are you interested in sharing with 1 other person, so not with more than 2 in total, then there is no problem from a legal point of view, except of course when the landlord definitely does not want that. But luckily that is not often the case. It is a lot more difficult if you want to share a rental home with several people (3 or more). Our government has come drafted new rules for this. Of course they do this to make the housing market healthier, but whether that will be successful is the question. At the moment, renting with several people (3 or more) is categorized as “room rental”. So, yes, it definitely is trickier, but still possible. If you have a search profile at RentSlam, you can set filters to not receive properties if those properties do not allow sharers. Here a link to a page with more information about room rental: https://www.utrecht.nl/wonen-en-leven/wonen/use-woonruimte-veranderen/woningdelen/
Why do I never get answers when I respond to a property?
Unfortunately, this is a very common problem. Usually this is because you responded too late. If you are not in the first group of people who responded, you often do not get an answer. Landlords are inundated with requests, so they often only respond to the first 5 to 10 submissions. Therefore, you must absolutely take care that you react super fast. RentSlam can make this much easier for you.
In addition, it is also important that you respond with the correct message. If you write things that the landlord does not want to hear, you will immediately drop out: “I have no work but…” or “I like a party so…” When a landlord reads such things, he / she really does not respond They foresee problems and do not want to rent to you. If you want advice on a good text to respond to, please contact us.
Are you faster than your competitor?
I can’t say it often enough. You really, but really really have to absolutely respond very quickly. There are so many people in Utrecht who are on the lookout for a great house to rent, that you just really have to be amongst the first few to have a chance. That is difficult, because rental properties are offered on so many websites and also come online 24 hours a day, so you really just have to make this a full-time job until you have a home.
Fortunately, RentSlam can help here. We search literally 24 hours a day, several hundred times every single day on every trustworthy website. This way you only have to respond to the homes that we send you. Your chances of getting a rental home are therefore much greater and you do not have to sit with squared eyes behind your screen all day long. So you save lots of valuable time.
Good luck with your endeavor to find your future rental home in Utrecht. If you want or even need our help, you are of course very welcome, create a search profile.