Now that you are ready to move to the Netherlands, something exciting and crucial is up next; finding a place to stay during your studies!
Securing an accommodation should be on the top of your to-do-list as soon as you receive your admission letter. The Netherlands currently has a housing shortage which often makes it difficult for students to find affordable housing near their institute of education. Unfortunately, Delft is no exception. Nevertheless, this is no reason to panic. Here are several options you can take while searching for a suitable accommodation.
Make sure to arrange your accommodation before arriving in the Netherlands, as you are officially required to register a valid Dutch address within 5 days after arrival in the Netherlands. Registering a valid Dutch address at the local municipality is a legal obligation for all who intend to stay in the Netherlands for 4 months or more, irrespective of nationality or purpose of stay. A valid and registered address allows you to obtain a BSN (Citizen Service Number), which is needed to interact with Dutch authorities.
Tips and tricks how to find a room
Finding a room or accommodation for your stay in Delft can be time consuming, difficult and also frustrating. If you haven’t found one yet, we hope the following tips and advice will help you finding one. I am Charles and will have the pleasure to be your Academic Counsellor during your time with us and I am looking much forward to. In the following I have a few bullet points, based on what I know and my experience as a student looking for a room / selecting a candidate for a room between 2012 and 2019.
- Read the page on housing of the TU Delft for general information
- DUWO is good one, but there is few months waiting time before you can apply for rooms. Register asap. It is handy also to move later to a nicer place or own studio.
- You can best forget about Kamernet as it is old fashioned and not used that much nowadays and costs apply.
- You can better check Facebook groups “Kamers, Studios, Appartementen in Delft” “Delft Housing Rooms and Appartements”, “Kamer in Delft”, “Kamer in Den Haag”, “Room & Houses in The Hague”.
- Do not restrict yourself to Delft and certainly not to the City centre. There are many places within 30 minutes of the campus by Public transport such as Rijswijk, Zoetermeer, Schiedam, The Hague, Rotterdam and even more within a 30 minutes bike ride Pijnacker, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Delfgauw, Naaldwijk and Maassluis for instance (also reachable with Public transport but is going to cost you more time and changes).
- Be aware of scams which are sadly common, especially toward international students. Everything that is spontaneously offered to you needs the greatest caution. Everything that seems too beautiful to be true, is probably so. More than up the three months deposits is very strange, everything above one requires caution. Anticipate payments of a row the monthly rents requires caution. Always ask a(n) (online) viewing, check if the address exists in Google Maps and check the place using Google Street View. Do not make any payment if any doubts apply.
- In case you go through a rental agency and any doubts arise, check if the agency is registered at this webpage.
- Check if you can get registered to the municipality when applying. Only then, you can get a BSN (burgerservicenummer in Dutch). That 9 digit number is needed to open a bank account, work and access some of the government services.
- For most rooms (especially on Facebook groups but also for DUWO in group accommodation), apply is more like applying for a job. Keep in mind that you have to convince your potential housemates first. That is why, you must write some kind of motivational letter in which you explain why you would be a great housemate to live with. It is all about getting noticed as there are many reactions coming in, so be creative. I still remember 7 years later, we once had a reaction in my student house of a girl who presented herself as a recipe as her biggest passion was cooking and baking. Make your reaction personal by addressing it to the names of your housemates and react on some things mentioned in the rental offer.
- Once you have written a good motivation, got noticed, you will get invited to a “present-yourself- night” (hospiteeravond in Dutch). Try to attend physically if possible. You can compare it with the actual job interview. It can be done in many different ways. You can get a timeslot where you will be alone with your fellow housemates or with a group of candidates that can go to 20 people. It is also about getting noticed. Do then your best to talk to each potential housemate individually. You can bring something like a snack or drink. Do not make huge expenses on that as it has a rather limited positive influence on your chances.
- Consider booking a trip to the Netherlands to attend a few “present-yourself-nights” as being here increase your chances.
- Be prepared to hand in some documents such as copy of passport, documents related to your financial situation and even a copy of your bank card. The latest might sound strange but is common in the Netherlands.
- Check if the place can give you the right for huurtoeslag. This is a monthly government aid that helps you to pay the rent based on your income. Only specific places are registered as places where you can get huurtoeslag. More info here: www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/belastingdienst/prive/toeslagen/huurtoeslag/ (use the (google) translate extension of your browser to get the website in your language)
- Be prepared for a few rejections. That is not nice indeed, but the demand is so high and the offer so limited that the chances to get rejected are higher than getting selected for a room. Do not make it personal. These are the people living there that miss a great opportunity to have you as a great house mates.