There are various ways to find accommodation in Utrecht. Finding a place to stay is can be quite challenging, especially when you are still abroad. Finding accommodation at the start of the semester is often more difficult than throughout the semester. Erasmus and Exchange students can apply for the reserved accommodation programme but the demand for this type of accommodation is high and availability is not guaranteed. If you prefer, you can try to find accommodation yourself. However, do not underestimate the time and effort it takes to find a place to stay. There are a few important matters to take into account when looking for a house, which we will explain further below.
Finding a room on the private market
Even though SSH is the largest student housing foundation in Utrecht, an even bigger share of student housing is provided by private home owners. They advertise on the internet or through housing agencies, but also quite often, current tenants are allowed look for a new housemate themselves among their friends, acquaintances or fellow students. Therefore it is good to inform your network if you are looking for a room.
Although the rooms offered on room search websites such as www.Kamernet.nl, Facebook or other online platforms for housing may seem vast, that does not mean that you will automatically get a room if you respond to an advert. There are usually numerous candidates for each room and moreover, you often need to attend a present-yourself evening after which the current tenants decide who their new housemate will be: ‘hospiteren’. Also, private landlords, especially if they rent an entire apartment, might ask you for a proof of income to make sure that you can afford the rent. House sharing is not always allowed.
A few more tips and tricks
It is good to know that student housing in Utrecht is usually quite modest and considered quite expensive. Areas such as the historic city center are very popular among students and not very easy to get to. It is worth exploring housing outside the city center and even outside of Utrecht in surrounding communities. Considering temporary options might be interesting as well. From a temporary place to stay you can continue your search for a more permanent accommodation.
Laws and regulations
Rented housing is subject to regulations stipulated by the government. A summary in English of a number of relevant issues can be found on the website of the Dutch government. Questions about legal matters concerning your rent can be submitted to the Huurteam (rent team) of the municipal office of Utrecht.
Below we have listed a number of agencies and websites that are frequently used by students looking for accommodation. Please note that these agencies and the accommodation they offer have not been verified or approved by the university. This is a referral service only, and unfortunately the university has no means to help you with this.
Housing agencies in Utrecht:
- www.directwonen.nl (rooms, studios and apartments)
- www.rotsvast.nl (rooms, studios and apartments)
- www.4-freedom.nl (rooms, studios and apartments)
Websites for independent house hunting
- www.housinganywhere.com (rooms on sublease, students-for-students only)
This is a free student-to-student housing platform. Students from educational institutions in Utrecht and other Dutch university towns who go on exchange can put up their room for sublease here, and prospective students can apply (free of charge) for the rooms that are offered.
- www.kamernet.nl (rooms)
- www.kamerhuren.nl (rooms)
- www.pararius.com (mostly apartments)
There are also a couple of active Facebook groups for housing in Utrecht, or you could consider placing a free ad in the online university magazine DUB
Always check for reliability
If you intend to enter into an agreement with a private person, do not make any payments in advance, and make sure that the housing offer and landlord you are dealing with can be trusted. Many students are looking for a room in Utrecht and unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of this situation by advertising fake rent offers. This is called scamming. In this blog by Kamernet, you can find some useful tips on how to recognise a rental scam and what to do when you are faced with scamming.