Navigating Rental Housing in Rotterdam for Expats


Relocating to a new nation for employment purposes is an exciting journey, but there are also some crucial considerations to take into account. You want everything in your new life to go as smoothly as possible, and the first step in this process is locating an acceptable home in the city of Rotterdam. It may appear a little confusing at first, but don’t worry! We have all the information you require to settle into your new house without any problems.

What housing possibilities are there in Rotterdam?

Real Estate Rotterdam offers a large range of rental properties, ranging from fully furnished houses to studio apartments. There are several suburban neighbourhoods in Rotterdam with large, well-planned homes of various shapes and sizes. For good reason, renting is a common way of living in Rotterdam. Renters benefit from flexibility, and Rotterdam’s rent is quite reasonable when compared to Amsterdam and many other European cities.

Locating The Ideal Home Or Flat For Rent In Rotterdam

When you rent a Rotterdam apartment from a real estate agency, you can be more assured of their good behaviour. Still, when you rent directly from the owner, you leave yourself more vulnerable to issues that might be more difficult to resolve.

Renting through an agent distances you from the real owner, making them less likely to drop by at random to see how you’re doing or to make “repairs” or unannounced rent adjustments.

If you rent through a trustworthy agency, you are less likely to fall victim to fraud. However, there are many rental scams to be aware of.

An estate agent you register with will notify you via email whenever rental homes that fit your criteria become available. You must, however, be proactive in your search for a rental flat if you want to see the greatest results.

Actively searching on the housing websites, which will include nearly every available property, is the best approach to finding a flat or house to rent. Of course, the truth is that a lot of foreigners don’t have the free time to look for a decent home or flat. It is advisable in this case to think about working with a knowledgeable rental agent who can handle this on your behalf. They are capable of setting everything up and handling all the little things.

Viewing the Apartments

After you’ve found a rental flat that catches your eye, you should arrange a viewing. Depending on the agent and circumstances, this can be done singly or in groups at times.

You should contact the real estate agent once to schedule a viewing. Email response times may be excessively slow, and before you receive the “Sorry, it’s gone” response, someone else may have scheduled their viewing.

Sign A Rental Agreement

Let the agent know as soon as you’ve decided to rent a home or flat, and they will help you with the rest of the procedure. They’ll want to see certain paperwork (identification documents, for example) and some kind of proof that you can afford the rent for an extended length of time.

Documents that a Dutch real estate broker must view are:

  • EU identity card or employment contract (evidence of income) and a passport
  • Permit to Reside (unless from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, or the EU)
  • If you work for yourself, the agent will require further documentation of your income as there isn’t one on file. They can also require documentation proving you have enough money saved. You can discuss this with the agent; however, certain agents are more accommodating than others.

In either event, you’ll need cash on hand to cover the additional expenses listed below and the first month’s rent in advance. If you do not yet have a Dutch bank account, another EU bank account will keep transactions seamless and shield you from exchange-rate volatility.

Although rental agreements are always in Dutch, the agency may provide you with an English translation so you can read and understand the terms.

How Much Does Renting In Rotterdam Cost?

Although rent must always be paid, there are other expenses associated with renting a house that you should be aware of. The standard costs are listed below; however, if you have opted for extra services (such as a property search), you might have to pay additional fees as well, so be sure to ask about these in advance.

Costs of a real estate agent equal one month’s rent

Usually, the agent will bill an agency fee for organising everything. It includes advertising, contract preparation, and administrative expenses. An agency fee of up to one month’s rent may be charged.

Rent For One Month + Deposit (Borg)

A deposit, known as a “borg” in Dutch, is required in addition to the agency fees. This deposit pays for any necessary cleaning or damage repairs after you depart. Typically, this is equal to one month’s rent.


You will need to do only very basic maintenance (cleaning the house, mowing the grass) and small repairs. The building’s structure needs to be maintained, and the landlord’s insurance must cover any major repairs. Rotterdam’s local municipal taxes are approximately €960 annually.

Local taxes fund all of the municipal services in Rotterdam. Rotterdam charges property owners, not tenants, for sewerage charges, so that’s one less thing to worry about. Refuse collection and other services are covered by additional fees. Renters should plan on paying €960 in municipal taxes in Rotterdam annually.


You are responsible for paying the costs of utilities such as gas, electricity, TV/Internet and community heating (if applicable) unless otherwise stated in the rental agreement. Your contracts and usage rates will determine these expenses.

With the correct knowledge and assistance, locating the ideal rental property in Rotterdam can be a simple task. The housing market and related costs are important to know whether you decide to use an estate agent or conduct your search on your own. Being proactive and organised can help you find an appropriate and comfortable place to live, which will ease the transition to living and working in Rotterdam.

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