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Finding accommodation on your own

UvA Staff Housing

Are you looking for a place to live in Amsterdam? Here we provide a few tips and definitions to get your started.

Dutch housing system: social housing versus private sector housing

The system for rental accommodations in the Netherlands is divided into two tiers:

Social housing

Social housing is affordable housing meant for people with lower incomes. The accommodations are owned by social housing organisations (often referred to as corporations). There are long waiting lists for social housing in the Netherlands; currently this is around 15 years. However, by going through UvA Staff Housing, international PhD candidates and guests can access social housing during their UvA appointment without going on a waiting list. 

Please note that your income must be below the income threshold for social housing.

Once you are in social housing, you can apply for a housing allowance (a state contribution to your rent). Some conditions must be met in order to receive a housing allowance. The UvA has no influence on the outcome of your housing allowance application.

Private sector housing

This is non-subsidised housing, privately owned by housing organisations or individuals (also called free sector housing). There is less regulation of private sector housing when it comes to rents and services. Private sector housing organisations have their own terms and conditions for selecting tenants. Often they have income requirements: prospective tenants are required to show proof of a monthly income that is 3.5 or 4 times the rent.

For private sector housing it is not possible to receive a housing allowance.

Websites for house hunting

The following websites are useful for finding rental accommodations in or outside Amsterdam:

Subletting from UvA affiliates

UvA Staff Housing manages a mailing list where UvA colleagues and individuals connected with the University can advertise their privately owned accommodation for subletting. The homeowner will provide you directly with more information and the terms and conditions for subletting.

If you would like to receive these announcements, please contact UvA Staff Housing once your faculty/research institute has submitted your application to us.

Guest accommodation

Hotel Le Coin offers short-stay accommodation at a special rate for UvA guests. For more information, contact Please mention your connection with the University of Amsterdam when making arrangements.

Tenancy agreements in The Netherlands

  • Ask a Dutch colleague to help you understand the tenancy agreement, so that you know the terms by which you will be legally bound.
  • Check the dates carefully on the tenancy agreement before signing.
  • In most cases, you cannot terminate your rental agreement in the first 12 months. After 12 months, termination is possible with one month's notice.
  • You may be required to pay a refundable deposit of up to two months’ rent.
  • If possible, pay everything through bank transfers. If your landlord prefers payment in cash, think twice before accepting, as it might be a scam. Always request a receipt for cash payments.