How to find temporary accommodation in Amsterdam

How to find temporary accommodation in Amsterdam

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Finding temporary accommodation in Amsterdam is made easy with City Retreat B.V.’s 10 simple tips that answer common questions and help you avoid the usual problems.

Amsterdam has a reputation as one of the best European cities in which to live and work. A clean and safe city with a laid-back atmosphere, it offers a truly excellent quality of life. You can wander or cycle around the historic city centre with its beautiful canals lined with stunning 17th-century buildings, and enjoy its world-famous museums, music venues, festivals, and cinemas.

With all this, plus cosy cafes and bars serving up seriously good coffee and beer, it’s no wonder people from all over the world decide to come here to live and work. In fact, it is estimated that there are currently over 100.000 expats living in Amsterdam!

Some of these expats are so-called “modern nomads," whose employment patterns allow them to live and work anywhere they choose. Others have more a more traditional set-up, coming to the Netherlands on short-term contracts with Dutch or international companies. These folks need somewhere to call home for a while as they embark on their new life.

It’s no secret that finding temporary accommodation in Amsterdam can be a headache. This year alone, there has been a 15 percent increase in people looking for temporary housing in the city. Expats are joined in their search for short term accommodation by local people needing a stop-gap between more permanent homes, those seeking a break from difficult situations or visitors to the city who are staying for more than a few weeks.

All this makes for a rather crowded temporary housing market.

Top 10 tips for finding temporary accommodation in Amsterdam

Here are 10 tips to help make the process of finding temporary living solutions in Amsterdam as pain-free as possible.

1. Start early

Don’t leave it to the last minute to start looking for accommodation. To maximise your chance of finding the perfect place, start your search at least three weeks before you want to move in. Be prepared to put in considerable time and effort as you trawl through websites, make phone calls, and send emails.

2. Cast your net wide

You might find your accommodation through a private landlord who advertises on a variety of sites such as Marktplaats and Facebook. However, you need to take care if you are going it alone - like the world over, there are also unscrupulous landlords in Amsterdam.

Alternatively, reputable and experienced rental agencies can help you find options. They will make sure the legal process is followed and won’t charge you any fees.

3. Prepare a personal profile

To save time, prepare a short personal profile that you can use as part of your enquiry process. Along with your budget and the start and end dates of your required rental period, it’s good to personalise your message with some details about yourself and the reasons for your stay in the city. Don’t forget to mention when you are available for viewings.

4. Be realistic about price

The downside of Amsterdam’s huge appeal is that rents are on the high side. Additionally, homeowners often prefer longer rental periods and as a result, the temporary rental market is short on supply. You need to be realistic about your budget - the cost of renting a typical fully furnished one-bedroom flat on a temporary basis with all utilities included could be as much as 2000 euros per month.

5. Pay attention to reviews

Nowadays, we don’t even buy a sandwich without checking a review, so it goes without saying you should pay close attention to property or agency reviews. Don’t be tempted to think that the more reviews a property has, the better it must be. These can sometimes be out of date. Look for recent reviews that will give you the best impression of the current state of the property.

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6. Don’t let your heart rule your head

Sadly, property descriptions and photos can sometimes be misleading, so it’s important to view a property before deciding whether to rent it. If a personal viewing isn’t possible, you should try to arrange a video call so the landlord or agent can still show you around. Ask to see any stairs and communal entrances in the property as they may be steep and narrow.

You might fall in love with a property because of its fabulous location or quaint old Amsterdam charm, but be sure not to overlook your basic requirements. Make a list of what you can’t manage without, such as furniture(!), kitchen equipment, laundry facilities, towels and linen, plus internet and a desk to work from.

You don’t want to involve yourself in the hassle and expense of having to source these things for yourself for just a short stay. The keyword here is “gemeubileerd” (furnished)!

7. Check out any extra costs

As it’s a temporary rental, make sure quoted prices are inclusive of all bills (gas, water, electricity and internet). Watch out for any additional agency or maintenance charges that are not included in the rent.

8. Be aware of the deposit

It’s common to pay a month’s rent in advance, plus one or even two months’ rent as a security deposit. You should get this back of course, provided you take care of the property. To make sure you don’t end up losing your deposit because of existing damage or faulty equipment, a check-in property report should be completed when you move in. It’s your right, so don’t hesitate to ask if it’s not offered!

9. Keep it flexible

Tenancy agreements in the Netherlands can be either fixed-term or temporary. We would recommend negotiating a flexible agreement with a one month’s notice period. If you do consider extending, then talk to your landlord as early as possible. You may even be able to negotiate a lower rent.

10. Finally, don’t forget to register

Whether you are a Dutch citizen or an expat, you need to be registered at your home address, even if it is a temporary one. Always check with your new landlord that it’s possible for you to use the address to register. Reputable agencies will only work with landlords that allow registration.

Do you need a temporary rental apartment in Amsterdam? City Retreat B.V. is a property management company that can provide a range of housing options or just help by answering any questions. For advice and assistance, please contact them using the button below, call 0031 6 4444 1231 or visit their website.

James Evans


James Evans

James Evans was born in the UK, where he lived for almost 20 years before moving to the Netherlands. Working on the development of IT infrastructures for several international corporations...

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