Student housing in Amsterdam
If you are coming to Amsterdam to study, the most urgent issue by far is to find a place to live. You have probably heard there is a housing shortage in Amsterdam but if you look carefully, you can still find good deals and decent living quarters.
First, you should of course check if your university or hogeschool offers housing to its students, as many schools do organise places for their students at one of their student houses, although these rooms can often be rented only for one year of study. If the school does not do that or if you prefer to look for a place yourself and do not want to live in a student building, then you can either use one of the housing agencies or try to find private people who offer rooms or flats for rent. The options are listed below.
If you have not found a place prior to arrival here, you might want to book a hostel in Amsterdam for the first days here while you are house-hunting.
Since many of you need a residence permit if you stay in Holland for a longer period of time, one of the conditions of getting a permit is registering at the local Municipal Registry. One of the documents you need for that is a proof of residence, which can either be a rental contract or a signed letter by the principal occupier of the flat. Therefore, make sure that your potential landlord can provide you with one of these if you need to apply for a permit. Not all people renting out rooms are willing to register their tenants.
Student housing agencies
You can sign up at agencies renting out rooms at student buildings:
De Key is a big student housing company with student houses all over the city. The waiting list is usually short although can sometimes take up to 6-12 months. This company is also used by many of the universities to accommodate their students.
Hoogte Kadijk 179, 1018 BK Amsterdam
Office hours: Mon - Thu 8.30 - 16.30, Fri 8.30 - 12.30.
DUWO Office Amsterdam
1183 AM Amstelveen
Casa Academica is a summer hotel near Amstel Station (southern part of the city) that rents out its rooms for students from October to June. There is a registration fee and a waiting list for up to ten months.
James Wattstraat 75, 1097 DK Amsterdam
There are several non-commercial agencies who deal with housing in Amsterdam:
ASW – Amsterdams Steunpunt Wonen, whose room agency works via drawing lots. Therefore there is no registration and no waiting lists. You have to phone the agency to find out if you like any of the rooms on offer and then you participate in a lottery. If you are successful in drawing the right lot you pay an entry-fee and you get the details of the address. If you do not like the room offered and do not want to participate further you get your fee back.
ASW: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 32, 1012 RZ Amsterdam
Tel.: 0031205230130, fax: 0031206382976
Email: email@example.com, website: http://www.steunpuntwonen.nl/asw/rooms.htm
Office hours: Mon, Tue, Wed 10.00-12.30, Thu 19.00-21.00.
ASVA – the General Student Union of Amsterdam also run a Kamerbureau (Room Office) which also functions via the drawing of lots. You simply join the Union for a fee and participate in the lottery if you like the choices, pay a deposit if you draw a successful lot and go see the place. You also get the deposit back should you not like the offer and not want to participate further.
ASVA Kamerbureau (Room Office) at desk 7, Binnengasthuisstraat 9, 1012 ZA, Amsterdam
Tel.: 0031205253136, fax: 0031205252921,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.asva.uva.nl/kamerbureau
Office hours: Mon-Fri 12.30-16.00, Thu 12.30-18.00.
SRVU Kamerbureau, for which you pay a yearly fee entitling you to view all the offers available through the agency.
De Boelelaan 1083a, room N-096, 1081 HV Amsterdam
Tel.: 0031204449424, fax: 0031204449423,
e-mail: email@example.com, website: www.srvu.org
Office hours: Mon-Fri 12.30-15.30.
Studenten Steunpunt Hogeschool INHOLLAND
Wildenborch 6, Centrale Hal
Commercial agencies also exist, however, they require a registration fee and commission for any services they provide. It is also generally the case that housing rented through commercial agencies is more expensive. More information about commercial housing agencies can be found at www.huurnietteduur.net.
You can either look for ads or place one yourself in newspapers such as the Amsterdam dailies Het Parool or Het Amsterdams Stadsblad, national dailies like NRC, Volkskrant, Trouw, English-language weeklies Amsterdam Weekly and The Amsterdam Times, or in advertising papers like De Echo, Via Via, many of which have online versions as well (see the next category).
Web pages for ads
Most of these sites are in Dutch, but kamer means room and the prices as well as the size of the room and street names should be understood. You can contact the advertiser to ask extra questions. You can always place your own ad in English.
www.marktplaats.nl (go to the section woningen te huur > Amsterdam)
www.viavia.nl (go to Advertentie plaatsen to place an ad or click on Woon & Bedrijfsruimte to see ads of rooms, then see Woningen> Huur (to rent), Koop (to buy). Ads for the paper version must be submitted by Tuesdays 11.00 AM to make it to the following week’s paper).
If you plan to stay in Amsterdam for a significant number of years, then the city government also organises municipal housing for the inhabitants. The waiting period is often up to 10 years, depending on the area, with the minimum being a few years from the point of registration. Rent at flats rented through the municipal scheme is much cheaper, though. All the houses as well as the applicants have to fulfill criteria determined by the Amsterdam Municipal Housing Department (Dienst Wonen, DW).
They also have a tenant harassment hotline where you can complain about any abuse from your landlord: 0031205230199. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DW Housing Information Centre
De Zuiderkerk, Zuiderkerkhof 72,
Websites: www.wonen.amsterdam.nl, www.zuiderkerk.amsterdam.nl
The centralised municipal housing corporation is WoningNet, who offer an overview of the housing market at www.woningnet.nl, as well as publish a free biweekly paper, where you can react to offers by calling 0900-8120.
As there are problems with squatters in Amsterdam (people who take over an empty building), there are many anti-squat agencies where the owners turn to in order to keep their house filled with tenants and not leave it open for squatters. This, in turn, provides cheap housing opportunities for students and young people. Although the tenant’s duration of stay at a specific house is usually not certain and the living conditions are fairly modest, the rent per month is largely symbolic, starting from about 100-200 euros. Details depend on the contract signed with a specific agency.
Postbus 75199, 1070 AD Amsterdam
Bureau voor Tijdelijke Bewoning (Office for Temporary Housing)
Houtmankade 20, 1013 MX Amsterdam
Zwerfkei Bewaring BV
Westeinde 20, 1017 ZP Amsterdam