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. 

Responding to offers: 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.

Students eat together in their common room.

Group viewings (Hospiteren)

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.

    2. 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 recieve 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 for a group viewing. Usually, only the selected candidates are contacted.

    4. A group viewing is hosted
      During a group viewing, candidates present themselves to the existing tenants. After the viewing, the existing tenants vote on who they prefer to become their new roommate. 

    5. The favourite candidate is presented to the landlord
      After the vote the existing tenants get in touch with their favourite candidate. 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 keep searching for other offers!

Getting invited to a group viewing

If you manage to get invited to a group viewing this does not mean you automatically get the room. Rather, the existing tenants will still have other candidates to choose from.

Most students go through numerous viewings before they successfully find accommodation. So, even if you are invited to one or two viewings, do not stop your search for other ads and listings!

Attending a group viewing

The existing tenants decide on how a viewing is hosted. This may be a showing of the room and a casual chat about interests with the other candidates present or in different time slots. Other student residences may organise group viewings as a party or a get-together with drinks. The number of candidates can also vary from a small group (4-6 candidates) to even more than 15 other candidates. You can find some hospiteert tips on the popular housing platform Kamernet.