Hints & Tips about housing in the Netherlands
› Houses usually come fully furnished.
› If an agent asks you to sign a pre-contract agreement (that usually comes in Dutch) in order to hold "a place in the line," be sure that you really want to rent the house, otherwise you will might be asked later to pay one month's rent as compensation, even if you are not interested anymore. The same applies to verbal contracts / deals, which are binding under Dutch law.
› Do not pay more than three months' rent (rent, deposit and furniture) and never in cash!
› Reply to as many ads as possible, especially if you are a potential student.
› Rental contracts are pro-tenant; they are of unlimited duration and it is almost impossible for landlords to evict established tenants.
› Usually, the best places are not advertised at all because landlords are looking for "recommended" tenants. Let all your colleagues, classmates, friends and family know that you are looking for a place.
› You can also find housing postings in cafes, supermarkets etc. and of course, classifieds in newspapers.
› Clarify if the rent includes any additional expenses (gas, water, electricity, Internet connection etc.) as these may be quite costly.
› All decoration changes must be approved by the owner.
› Inspect the property before signing the contract. If not, do not bother complaining about the appliances (heating system, radiator etc.) or pre-existing damages.
› Student housing must be vacated within six months of graduation. Therefore, taking additional courses may extend your stay, which comes quite handy if you are looking for a job.
› You must inform the landlord that you are moving out (if not specified, notice period is one month), otherwise the contract may be automatically renewed (silent renewal).
› Even if you are staying for six months, do not hesitate to sign an one-year contract. As mentioned above, you can terminate it any time you want (but not less than the notice period).
› Always ask for an English contract version to avoid any unpleasant surprises.