The biggest share of student housing in Utrecht is provided by private home owners. They advertise on the internet or through housing agencies. But also quite often, current tenants are allowed to look for a new housemate themselves among their friends, acquaintances or fellow students.
When looking for a room, these are important things to know:
- You are not the only candidate
Responding to an advertisement does not mean you automatically get the room. If you put out an advert yourself and get lucky to be invited to a viewing, there are usually numerous candidates for each room. In addition, advertisements might not always be up to date and already rented out.
- Current tenants choose their new housemate
In Utrecht it is common to share facilities like the kitchen, the bathroom and the washing machine with other housmates in student accomodation. In many cases, the current housemates will get to decide who their new housemate will be. They invite a number of candidates to a viewing and decide afterwards who they like best and who gets the room. Going to such a viewing is called ‘hospiteren’ and the viewing is called ‘hospiteeravond’. This can be quite competitive. Because demand for student housing in Utrecht is so high, most students go through numerous attempts and viewings before successfully finding accommodation. The popular housing platform Kamernet has listed useful tips on how to prepare for a viewing.
- Finding a room from abroad is difficult
It can be really difficult to find a room in a shared house when still abroad. The housemates, but also the landlord, usually will want to meet you. This can sometimes be solved with a Skype meeting, but they will mostly prefer to invite candidates who can attend in person. A possible solution for this problem could be coming to The Netherlands in the Summer before the start of the semester. From a temporary place you could start your room search and attend viewings more easily.
- Renting an entire apartment with friends does not always work
Because of local regulations, house sharing is not always allowed. Besides that, most landlords or agencies prefer to rent the place to a single person or couple, rather than to a group of students. Also, landlords often desire a proof of income to make sure that you can afford the rent.
- Beware of scammers
Always check for reliability. With the beginning of the academic year approaching rapidly, many students are looking for a room in Utrecht. Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of this situation by advertising fake rent offers. This is called scamming. This blog by Kamernet contains useful tips on how to recognise a rental scam and what to do when you are faced with scamming. 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.
Student rooms are not always furnished. If you get the chance to rent an unfurnished room, you can of course buy new furniture at for example Ikea or another furniture outlet. You could also get cheap second hand furniture from one of the second hand shops in Utrecht ('kringloopwinkel' in Dutch) or you could consider renting your furniture from a specialised company like Student Furniture Holland.
Individuals also often offer their furniture for sale (or even for free!) on Facebook communities of their flats and neighbourhoods:
- Warande Zeist
- Tuindorp-West complex
- Ina Boudier-Bakkerlaan
- Free items in Utrecht
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 (The Rent Team, site in Dutch)
- The Vidius Utrecht Student Association Legal Aid Office (site in Dutch)
- The municipal office of Utrecht
- Het Juridisch Loket Utrecht (Legal Aid Office Utrecht, site in Dutch)