How to get an apartment in Rotterdam

There are so many available apartment, rooms and apartments out there but still it feel almost impossible to get the right place according to your needs (and most of the time, your budget). How is this possible and why is it so difficult? And more important, how do I get this great place ASAP?

Tip 1  – Set your budget right!
First of all, you have to know what you can spend because this will be the most important factor influencing all the other items about location, type of residence, short term/long term etc. Your monthly budget should consist out of the monthly rent, utilities and taxes. Utilities for a 70m2 flat for normal usage are around 70 euros a month for 1 person. This is a very general costs but take it into account and ask the owner or agent what the previous tenant spent. For taxes, you will pay around 15 euro’s a month, but please check for the latest prices – in english too.

Apartment Rotterdam - how to get one easier
Apartment Rotterdam – how to get one easier

Tip 2  – Know exactly what kind of place you want
Secondly, it is very important to know what you are exactly looking for. Starting a search for “a place to stay” will give you many hits, but likely not the place you are looking for. So think of what kind of place you are looking for: an apartment, a house, a room etc. When you have done that, try to be more specific, for example do you I want a furnished apartment or unfurnished and do I want a big or small apartment or maybe even a studio. If you prefer to rent a room, then also decide what kind of place you want. You can have typical student place, this give you probably some better rates but can be a bit dirty too.

Tip 3  – Define your location
Thirdly, have a little search on what area in Rotterdam you are looking for. Do you rent an apartment in the city center, with all the city action there, or do you prefer a more quiet area outside of town?

Tip 4  – Approach the landlord like you apply for a job..
…the light version then.

Read the following messages which are perfect examples of how not to approach the agent or landlord:

Hi do you have apartments?

What about depozit?becuose where we live her they sold apartment and we must go from here until monday if you wait with depozit litle bit we can come and look ?now we can pay for one month and.litlle bit later depozit what you say?

Or this one

How much we pay for apartment?

Both approaches doesn’t give the landlord a lot of confidence in financial stability, interest and manners. It is much better to give more background about yourself, what you are planning to do in Rotterdam, what kind of apartment you are looking for etc. This will give the landlord more confidence in you and that you will be a good tenant and it will be easy communicating with you. See the next approach as example:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I’m contacting you regarding the apartment you offer for rent in Rotterdam. From the picture and the description about the place I can see that it really suits what I’m looking for ?

I’m originally from Spain but live in the Netherlands for almost 3 years now. I first did a master at the TU Delft and since last year I’m working at Cargill.

I’m currently living in a nice apartment in Blijdorp with other two girls but unfortunately out landlords are coming back home so it’s time for me to look for a new place. I’m looking for a beautiful and furnished house in Rotterdam, and I would specially like a quiet neighborhood so that’s why I think your house is perfect for me. My idea would be to look for a friend to move in with and share the costs of the house.

Would it be possible to schedule a viewing soon? And if you have any other questions please let me know ?


This tells the landlord that this is a well behaved girl, with a job and what knows what she want and has a clear plan. If you would be the landlord, based on the 3 messages, which one would you invite your apartment in Rotterdam?

Tip 5 – Try to speak to the landlord when you view the apartment.
Just as when you are applying for a job, the owner of the apartment wants to have a good relationship with the tenants. When are invited to the apartment on the place you want in Rotterdam, then try asking the landlord some questions about the apartment. What the utilities costs are for example, tell a little bit about yourself etc. Also, if you do, tell the landlord you like it and that you really want to have it. This will set you before the other tenants.

Tip 5 – Last but not least, be flexible!
The landlord obviously wants to rent out the apartment as soon as possible. If the place is granted to you but will only be able to start 2 months later, consider to move that to 1 month or even rent it directly. If you are planning to stay longer in Rotterdam, the costs of an extra month over several years is actually not that much.

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