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:

Dutch rent allowance scheme

The Dutch Tax Office subsidises individuals who rent specific types of accommodation in the Netherlands to make the rent more affordable. This is called rent allowance, housing allowance or rental benefits (‘huurtoeslag’ in Dutch). It regulated by the Government of the Netherlands. Whether you qualify for this allowance depends on several factors such as the applicant’s age, income, household, age, duration of the rental period as stated in the rental contract, the type of rental contract and the monthly rent.

In the Rent Benefits Act (Wet op huurtoeslag) it is determined which requirements individuals need to meet to be eligible for rent allowance. Because there are also very specific requirements to the type of accommodation to be eligible for rent allowance, the amount of available housing that falls within this scheme is very limited and thus in high demand. It is very rare to find a house on the private housing market that qualifies for rent allowance. However, some of the self-contained housing in the reserved housing programme might be eligible if you also meet the individual requirements.

Applying for rent allowance

In order to apply for rent allowance you need a Dutch Citizen Service Number. To obtain this number, you will need to register with the municipality of Utrecht. You can only register in person. You can find more information on the requirements for receiving rent allowance on the Dutch Tax Office’s Benefits website (this website is only available in Dutch). You can also find more information on this government page.

IMPORTANT: We must point out that Utrecht University is not liable for providing you with legal aid or assistance to apply for rent allowance, nor can we determine if you meet the individual requirements. If you have questions about this scheme please contact the Dutch Tax Office:  +31 555 385 385, or plan a visit to one of their offices. Arrange a visit by calling the before-named phone number. 

City registration

If you are staying in the Netherlands for more than four months to study, you are legally required to go to the city council and register as a new resident of the town in which you are living. In order to do so, you need, among other things, a legal Dutch address, documented by a tenancy agreement, contract of sale of your home, or your landlord’s permission. You can read more on city registration on this page.

IMPORTANT: Please note that if you require a visa and/or residence permit you are legally required to register with the city as soon as possible after your arrival. Make sure to take this in consideration when you are looking for housing, as not all (temporary) accommodation allows you to register at the municipality.

Statue in Utrecht
Photographer Ivar Pel, copyright UU