If you are expecting to stay less than five years but more than just a short stay in Utrecht Region, renting may be your best choice. This gives you greater flexibility in terms of contracts and you are spared the effort of making major expenses, repairs or ongoing maintenance.
Be aware that, because of the shortage of rental homes, the prices are pretty high. Prices can go from €300 for student housing up to €2.000 for multiple room apartments. There will be a deposit that needs to be paid when renting a home, which is normally worth around a 1 or 2 months’ rent.
In general, renting contracts have a duration of one year and will turn into a flexible contract after the first year. Note that every rental home may differ in offer. Some rentals are furnished, some are not. Prices can be in- or excluding rental services/utility costs such as water, electricity, television and internet. Some are just available for students, others just for workers, some are both, etc.
Essentially, there are two rental markets in Utrecht Region: the private rental. and social housing.
In the private rental sector, with the market driven by demand, the rental prices are likely to be high. However, tenants and landlords are still subject to statutory housing rights. It is always good to learn more about housing rights and contract details before signing your first rental contract.
Social housing will be significantly cheaper than renting on the private market but is also rigorously controlled, allocated based on need and annual income. There are also typically long waiting periods – waits of three to seven years are not uncommon, particularly in major cities.
Things to look for in a rental contract
- The correct rental price, and whether it includes service charges, energy bills, and local taxes such as property, trash disposal, and sewage taxes
- Deposit; 1-2 month’s rent is normal
- Duration of the contract. Most are fixed for one year with a notice period of one month from either party
- Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs. Also make sure to ask the rental agency if they charge a mediation fee