Housing ads and group viewings

Most housing offers on the private market are posted on various platforms by landlords or existing tenants. Responding to these offers and getting selected for a group viewing is a very competitive and time-consuming process. On this page you can find more info on what to expect and how to get started.

Responding to offers

Due to the high demand for housing there can easily be more than a hundred responses for one single room offer. The advertiser typically does not have the capacity to respond to all received messages. This means that you will often receive no answer when you respond to offers. 

How to increase your chances

Responding to offers is a frustrating process that takes a lot of time and effort. To increase your chances, please take the following in account:

  • Be persistent

    It is very important to spread your chances as much as possible. So don’t be picky and search on various platforms and pages for ads and listings in Utrecht and the surrounding area, and also include Dutch ads

  • Try to stand out

    When you respond to an offer, expect that the advertiser will have numerous other students to choose from. Try to stand out with your message, include a photo if you feel comfortable, and adapt your standard message to fit the ad.

  • Know what they're looking for

    Landlords and tenants look for different things in a new tenant. A landlord will want to check if you are dependable and have substantial financial means, while a student tenant will likely want to check if you have similar interests and meet their preferences as a housemate.

Group viewings (Hospiteren)

Students eat together in their common room.

If you search for housing offers on platforms you will soon come across the Dutch words ‘hospiteren’ and ‘hospiteeravond’. Most Dutch student residences use this group viewing system. 

Hospiteren: How it works

During such a viewing you compete for a room with several other candidates. Most students attend numerous viewings before they are selected as a tenant. Here is how it works:

  • 1. A room becomes available

    The existing tenants discuss the preferences they have for a new housemate, such as gender, interests and age. They then post an ad on a platform or search for candidates among their friends.

  • Students respond to the ad

    Once the ad is online, students can respond with a message that includes a short bio and photo. You can expect one offer to easily receive more than a hundred responses.

  • 3. Candidates are selected

    The existing tenants browse through the responses and select a number of candidates who meet their preferences. Usually, only the selected candidates receive a reply to their message. 

  • 4. A group viewing is hosted 

    How the viewing is hosted varies. This may be a showing of the room and a casual chat about interests with the other candidates present, or during different time slots. It may also be organised as a party or a get-together. The number of candidates can vary from a small group (4-6 candidates) to 15+ other candidates.

  • 5. A vote on the new housemate

    After the viewing, the existing tenants vote on who they prefer to become their new roommate. If the candidate is also interested, they are connected to the landlord to arrange a contract.

Even if you are invited to a viewing, also continue searching for other offers!

Spread your chances

Most students go through numerous viewings before they successfully find accommodation. Even if you are invited to one or two viewings, do not stop your search for other ads and listings! You can find some hospiteer tips on the popular housing platform Kamernet.