Accommodation in Rotterdam

Expats headed to Rotterdam will be pleased to know that accommodation in the city offers excellent value for money and is significantly cheaper than in other major cities like Amsterdam and The Hague. Demand is high, however, and rental prices are rising, so if expats spot a place they like at a reasonable price, it's best to be prepared to act quickly.

Types of accommodation in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is famous for its exciting modern architecture, and housing is no exception. From quirky "cube houses" and towering apartment blocks to traditional Dutch row-houses, expats are sure to find something they like.

Most accommodation in Rotterdam comes unfurnished and sometimes even basics such as carpeting and curtains may not be included – this is indicated by the word "kaal" in rental ads. Fully furnished housing (gemeubileerd) is rarer and more expensive but is often the ideal for expats who aren't settling in the Netherlands for the long term.

Finding accommodation in Rotterdam

In general, the Netherlands is not an easy place for foreigners to find long-term accommodation. This is because the majority of the country's housing is social housing, which is in high demand with years-long waiting lists. In addition, tenants must fall below a certain income bracket to qualify. Since most expats don't meet these requirements, they are limited to private-sector housing. Again, competition is tough, since only a small percentage of rental houses are privatised.

Expats can search for accommodation using online property portals and local newspapers. However, if they don't speak Dutch, the language barrier can be a problem. In this case, it's usually best to hire a real estate agent (makelaar). 

Renting accommodation in Rotterdam

The typical length of a lease in the Netherlands is one year, and most landlords require one month worth of rent as a deposit, along with the first month of rent paid upfront. If using a real estate agent, their service fee is usually also the equivalent of one month's rent, meaning that the total start-up cost of renting accommodation is approximately three months of rent. Utilities are usually for the tenant's own expense and must be paid in addition to rent.