Housing types in the Netherlands

Choosing a suitable place is an important decision for every expat in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, there is a variety of housing types available:


Renting an apartment is probably the best option for those looking for privacy. A self-contained apartment is ideal for professionals or even students but pricing might be an issue.


Renting an entire house is a wise choice for families and those eager to share a property with friends or colleagues. Especially expats should examine thoroughly the terms and conditions of the rental contract and provide guarantees regarding their ability to pay.

Student house

The vast majority of students in the Netherlands rent rooms in student houses, which are privately-owned houses designed to host three to six individuals. Living with strangers and following the house rules might be difficult at first, but nearly all adapt over time.

Student apartment

As a rule, student flats offer private bedrooms and shared facilities (living room, kitchen, bathroom etc.). These apartments are a bit cheaper than student houses but usually host 8 to 12 tenants.

University housing

Most Dutch universities offer student apartments and / or student houses through their housing offices. Although both price and facilities are more or less the same as the privately-owned ones, university housing offers expats the opportunity to meet other (international) students and thus, quickly expand their social circle.

Note that due to the dramatic shortage of student housing, expats should apply for a student house as soon as possible.

housing types netherlands

Landlord hosting

It is common for landlords or even families to rent out part of their houses to students and young professionals. You might have to comply with the (strict) family rules but you will probably enjoy family-cooked meal every day.

Squat & anti-squat

Living in a squat is anything but rare in the Netherlands. Although not exactly legal, you can find a cheap room and have the opportunity to meet really interesting people.

On the other hand, it is also possible to anti-squat. Landlords rent out unoccupied buildings at extremely low price so that they are not occupied by squatters!

Yet, anti-squats in the Netherlands are extremely hard to find and most of the times tenants have to equip the house themselves.

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