tips & tricks
How to find a room in one week
If you’re looking for a room in Amsterdam, you need to be patient. But sometimes you just don’t have the time to wait, for example if your relationship has just ended, if you have to travel two hours to get to school or if your situation at home has become unmanageable. How can you speed up the process of finding a place to live?
Many VU Amsterdam students have spent at least some time living at Uilenstede. To become eligible for a room at Uilenstede, you need to register with DUWO via Room.nl (eng.)
First-year students and students who live far away will be given priority [Dutch] in the period from 1 July until 30 November. Most of the rooms will be assigned via interviews with the current residents. Many rooms are made available via the Campus Uilenstede Facebook group.
If you are unsuccessful at finding a room via interviews with current residents, room.nl also offers other options. Please be aware that the waiting list is long. If you’re in a hurry, DUWO regularly offers rooms for short-term rent (between 15 days to a year). Direct Offer.
Campuses that are less popular also have shorter waiting lists. The waiting lists for student housing in Amsterdam-Zuidoost and Hoofddorp are much shorter. You can find rooms offered by other housing associations and landlords in the city at studentenwoningweb. Rooms in Diemen are available via Our Campus.
The Student Experience building is located near VU Amsterdam. The complex has 800 rooms and many amenities. The 21 square metre studios are not cheap and add up to 682 euros a month including service fees. If you’re over 23 years old, you can apply for a housing allowance. As a result, many residents are nearing the end of their study programmes. There is no waiting list: students looking for a room can download an app that sends a push notification on weekdays when rooms become available. The first person to reply gets the room.
Living at VoorUit
Interested in living rent-free? In exchange for ten hours of voluntary work per week, you can live at the VoorUit project for free. Although you will not pay any rent, you will be required to pay service fees, utilities and internet bills. VoorUit offers rooms in ten areas in Amsterdam-West, Nieuw-West and Noord. These areas are considered disadvantaged neighbourhoods and you will be expected to do volunteer work for the local residents. This work can include organizing tutoring sessions, tutoring neighbourhood kids yourself or teaching senior citizens how to use a computer. You will sign a contract for a minimum period of one year.
A post on social media may also result in a room at the right time. Rooms are offered via various Facebook pages. Please be aware that scammers may be operating on these sites, just like on eBay. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Student Hotel offers all the facilities of a hotel including a gym and laundrette, and you can even rent a bike at reception. All of this comes at a price: rents start at 800 euros per month. Due to the fact that rental contracts cannot be terminated in the interim but only per semester, these rooms are mainly popular among international students.
De Hooge Stoep in Amsterdam-Zuid is a gorgeous student residence with eighteen rooms. Prices are affordable and the roommates are kind and caring. However, landlord Ruimzicht has set a number of requirements. After registration, residents should have at least three years of studying left and have to show that they are socially engaged. Other rules include mandatory attendance of the weekly Wednesday dinners, two annual weekends together and you have to be able to show that you are doing voluntary work. The landlord prefers theology students, but you do not have to be religious. With a bit of luck, you can find a room quickly at De Hooge Stoep. The waiting list is not very long.
Live-in guardian (squatter prevention)
If you need a place to live sooner rather than later, you can also see if you can arrange to live somewhere as a live-in guardian (squatter prevention) or as a temporary tenant. Live-in guardians can live in vacant buildings at a low rent to prevent squatters from moving in. There are two different types: the first is live-in guardianship with a low rent and a term of notice of only 28 days. The second is a temporary rental contract of at least six months with a term of notice of at least three months. Rents are higher in the second category. Waiting lists and available housing vary from one period to the next. Landlords may have several large projects available and sometimes they may have little to nothing. Go to their Facebook pages to find out more about the current offer. Well-known landlords for these types of properties in Amsterdam include: VPS Nederland, Camelot Europa, Zwerfkei Beheer, Ad Hoc, Alvast and Sleutelklaar.
In all honesty, these rooms are not available at short notice. The waiting list for Casa 400 is growing fast. During the summer months, Casa is a hotel, but during the academic year students can rent fully-furnished rooms with their own bathroom and even a TV. You can move in at the beginning of October and you will be expected to vacate your room at the end of May. If you plan to only rent a room between Monday and Friday, then you can expect to pay about 100 euros less a month.
Are you in a tough spot? In some cases, students may be eligible to apply for urgency at the Student General Counselling Service. For further details, please contact de Student General Counselling Service. Please note that they cannot help students with children to find suitable housing.