What housing options are available in Rotterdam?
Rotterdam is a popular city for students. Finding a room is not always easy. You can rent a room from a housing corporation or private landlords. Make sure your contract is translated into English and contains the elements as is described in this PDF.
If you choose to live in one of the SSH student buildings, you need to register at their online system and then submit your request. Be aware that places are limited, so we would advice you to apply well in advance.
When you look for a place independently, you should read the description of the room or place carefully, to check whether you are a right fit for it. In case you think so, give your landlord and potential tenants a brief description about yourself.
You can check out rooms in Facebook groups such as “Student rooms Rotterdam,” or “Looking for a roommate Rotterdam.” However, be aware of scammers. Usually you can easily verify by clicking on the person’s profile that posted the ad. If they ask to transfer money via Western Union, always refuse this. Also take a look at the house first before signing anything. If this is not possible, ask them for a virtual tour. Also, check if the house actually exists or is in a desirable neighborhood by filling in the address on Google Maps.
On this website you can find a lot of rooms that are posted by students that are looking for other students in their house. There is a lot of competition to find a room, so make sure to write an appealing message about yourself. A fee needs to be paid to make use of this website.
What are my rights as a tenant in Rotterdam?
Landlords cannot decide the rent by themselves. Depending on the sq meters and quality of the room, a specific number of points are allocated. The number of points determines the maximum rent a landlord can ask. More about this system can be found here: huurcommissie.nl.
Short stay contracts (contracts < 1 year) do not fall under this point-based system. If mediatory agencies work for a landlord, these intermediary agencies are not allowed to charge any mediation fees. Landlords are, however, allowed to set a minimum income. The city of Rotterdam checks whether landlords fulfill the legal norms. If the housing is okay, the landlord receives a permit. If not, then the landlord and renter will be notified. If the landlord does not undertake any action, the building will be cleared.
Am I eligible for rent allowance?
Rent benefit “Huurtoeslag”:
Huurtoeslag is a benefit the government gives when your income is insufficient. The amount of this benefit depends on your age and the rent itself. Nationality is not a factor for deciding the grant. As long as the renter fulfills certain criteria, Huurtoeslag is granted.In order to be eligible for this subsidy you need to meet the following conditions:
– You must be at least 18 years old.
– You should be registered with the immigration and naturalization service (IND)
In case you are 22 years old or younger, the monthly rental costs (including the service cost) should be lower than €414,02. When you are 23 years old or older the rental costs should not be higher than €710, 68.
Huurtoeslag only applies for rooms/studios/appartments that have their own entrance that can be locked and have a toilet and kitchen. Your financial assets should not be higher than €25000 in value.
You can see whether or not you are eligible to receive huurtoeslag for a certain living space, and if so, how much subsidy you would receive, on the website of the Dutch tax services.