Are you struggling to find a room in the Netherlands? Then listen to our second episode of Brewing Student Cultures. Our hosts talked to Nadir who shared some of his expertise on the topic.
Nadir is one of the co-founders of myroom.nl, a website with the goal to make the process of finding accommodation easier. Here is an overview of the tips he mentioned:
How to find a room
Get help from the university: If you are coming from abroad to study in the Netherlands, your university can probably assist you in getting a room. Most universities offer one year contracts in furnished rooms with institutions they partnered up with. Be aware that they cannot help everyone – so if you get an offer it is best to take it.
Facebook: Facebook groups are the place to be for finding accommodation. Look up your city and ”kamer” (Dutch for room) and you will find plenty of options. Most of the posts are in Dutch, but can automatically be translated on Facebook. Read the description carefully and send your applications.
Kamernet: Kamernet is a commonly used website with rooms uploaded. You can scroll through them for free, but once you want to react to them you have to use a paid account.
Myroom.nl: Myroom.nl is aiming to centralise available places on one website. You can use it for free and it makes your application process faster.
procedure to get a room
The procedure to get a room in the Netherlands is always quite similar. You read the information about the room online, apply with a message or email and then you wait whether you get a reply or not. You mostly will only get an email if are invited to a home viewing. At the viewings you will meet the current housemates who will try to get to know you. Some viewings are with a group of applicants who ”compete” against each other and others are with time slots where you are at the viewing on your own. Shortly after the viewing you will get a message whether you are the lucky one who gets the room or not,
Once you get accepted it important to carefully read the contract. Key points are duration, price and deposit.
dos and don'ts in applying
When applying for rooms make sure to properly introduce yourself. Include basics like name, age, study program, which year you are in, hobbies and personality. It is important to stay true to yourself and do not come up with any qualities just to fit the post better.
Try to stand out in some way, by for example writing a catchy email subject line, writing in colour or adding pictures of yourself.
start early and reply fast!
Start searching for accommodation once you know that you are going to study in the Netherlands. It might take a few weeks or even months to get a room, so best is to start early. Additionally, Nadir’s main advice is being fast in replying to uploaded rooms. Try to include sending emails in your daily routine and activate notifications.
Be aware of scammers
Especially those looking for rooms from abroad are an easy target for scammers. Look out for the following red flags: getting asked to send your ID and ”landlords” asking for a deposit before you have seen the room or before you have signed a contract. Don’t do any of those!
Juridisch Loket offers free legal counsel in case you find yourself in in doubt about a contract or you need advise on other legal manners.
Watch the episode to get to know all the details about housing in the Netherlands. If you want to know more about Dutch cultural shocks click here and stay tuned for the next episode in two weeks!