pre-rental-amsterdamDutch rental market: how does it work?

The first thing to mention is that there is a general shortage of residential rental properties in the Netherlands. This especially applies to properties in the Randstad region. That region is basically the triangle which can be drawn between Amsterdam – The Hague – Utrecht.

Therefore the government has applied what is known as the ‘Points System’ to regulate the rental property market in the Netherlands.
In some areas such as Amsterdam this has always been strictly regulated, and in other areas it is becoming stricter as time goes by.

The Points System rules basically state that properties which do not meet the criteria to achieve 146 points or more are not open to ‘the free market’. If that is indeed the case then the property falls under ‘Social Housing’.

At first glance this sector might seem like an attractive one as for example there is a maximum allowable monthly rental price which can be charged to the tenant by the owner. But there are hard criteria and challenges for potential tenants such as:


their salary falling below a maximum income (currently around € 35,000)

Waiting list

candidates should have been on an official waiting list to acquire the right to rent in that neighborhood of the city. This waiting list is 5 years in most cities but in Amsterdam itself 10 years is more realistically. This sounds extraordinary but has long been very much a reality for Dutch people looking to find their own rental home.

Competing with locals

If indeed you do qualify and become eligible, at the end of the day you will be competing with locals which are preferred by Dutch home owners as they commit to longer contracts and will not include the ‘Diplomatic Clause’ for you as expat tenant.

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