How to rent a home in Rotterdam - room, apartment, house

How to rent a home in Rotterdam - room, apartment, house

Thinking of renting a house or apartment in Rotterdam? Whether you're aiming for a long-term stay or a short visit, choosing between furnished or unfurnished options, understanding the rental market in Rotterdam is crucial. Here’s an updated guide to help you navigate through the process.

How much does renting cost in Rotterdam?

As we look into the rental landscape of Q4 2023, we find significant changes in the free sector housing market. In Rotterdam, the average rental price has seen a notable uptick. New tenants are now paying €19.18 per square meter per month, marking a 9.6% increase compared to the previous year. This rise in prices is part of a broader trend, reflecting a dwindling supply of rental properties amidst high demand, complicating the search for affordable housing for middle-income earners.

In particular, the centre of Rotterdam has witnessed a substantial price increase, with new tenants paying €21.74 per square meter, a 9.5% jump from the year before. Neighbourhoods like Feijenoord have seen the highest percentage increase in the city, with rental prices reaching €18.59 per square meter, up by 14.5%. Meanwhile, areas such as Charlois, Prins-Alexander, and IJsselmonde offer more affordable rates but have also experienced increases to varying degrees.

Average home rental prices in Rotterdam, per neighbourhoodAverage home rental prices in Rotterdam, per neighbourhood

How renting in Rotterdam works

Signing up at a real estate agent, a 'makelaar' in Dutch, is the most common way to find an apartment in Rotterdam. The largest and most popular real estate agency websites are Funda and Pararius. Both sites offer a wide range of rental properties, though Pararius does a better job of catering to the needs of expats. For starters, the Pararius website is available in English. Moreover, they also allow you to narrow down your search to include short stay, developments and rental properties.

If your move to Rotterdam is permanent, an interesting (yet difficult option) is WoonnetRijnmond. This platform is particularly helpful for finding affordable social as well as private (free sector) housing both in and around the Rotterdam region. This includes neighbouring municipalities like Barendrecht, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Bergschenhoek and Schiedam among others. There are approximately 24 housing corporations that actively promote their inventory on this website. However, the problem with WoonnetRijnmond is that the waiting lists tend to be extremely long. If you think you might stay in Rotterdam for a long time, it doesn't hurt to register. The longer you're registered, the better your odds. So think of it as a longterm plan to secure your second or third apartment.

On the other hand, WoonnetRijnmond also offers housing inventory for which only people who meet the requirements of the 'Rotterdamwet' may apply. The Rotterdamwet is a law that gives preference to certain target groups. For example, Rotterdam-based students, civil servants and industrial labourers (who work in Schiedam) who are under the age of 30. 

How to rent a home in Rotterdam - room, apartment, houseHow to rent a home in Rotterdam - room, apartment, house

About short-stay.
If you're only in Rotterdam for work, renting a short-stay apartment is very efficient as they come fully furnished and charge you per day instead of per month.

With some real estate agencies, you can sign up with them for free. They'll send you notifications of possible apartments and homes that fit your criteria. Other agencies may charge a small fee for the same service.

When you finally find your home most agencies ask for a deposit (borg) and a month's rent, when you move out, you will receive the deposit back, unless there is damage to the home that you did not fix yourself. Be sure the costs are within your calculations. In most cases, you are paying one month's rent, a deposit and a fee towards the agency. 

Furnished or not?

Dutch apartments are usually not furnished. If you need furniture, make sure you specify this in your search. Many websites have search filters that allow you to specify the state of the apartments. Some apartments are bare (kaal). That means they do not have carpets, wooden floors, etc. Dutch people tend to take their belongings along with them to their next apartment. Take into consideration that you might need furniture and other appliances for your new home!

Beware of slumlords in Rotterdam

As with anything in life, be careful and do your due diligence when dealing directly with real estate agents that offer deals that sound either too good to be true or too expensive. Scammers are particularly fond of expats. There's even a Dutch term for landlords that charge excessively high prices: huisjesmelker. That's huis (home) + melker (milker). Instead of milking cows, these 'slum landlords' milk houses, charging high amounts for meagre accommodations and sometimes even illegally splitting a house into various rooms, so they can charge everybody a high price. Erasmus Magazine wrote a great article on the subject: How to avoid being scammed.

Beware of slum landlords / huisjesmelkersBeware of slum landlords / huisjesmelkers

What you need to be eligible to rent a home in Rotterdam

To be eligible for housing in Rotterdam, you'll need a copy of your national identity card or passport. Furthermore, when you are planning on renting a full apartment or house, you will need proof of (self)employment. If you are only renting a room, you probably won't need this. However, having it on hand is useful, as it shows you're likely to be a reliable tenant. 

To make payments for your apartment or house it is handy to have an international banking account. If you live within the European Union this is very easy. If you are outside the European Union, you can always check with your bank if there are ways to make this type of transfer quicker and easier.

Rental allowance in Rotterdam

Depending on how much you earn and how much your rent is, you might be eligible for 'huurtoeslag.' This is a monthly payment you will receive from the Dutch tax authorities and is meant to lessen the burden of rent on your income.

You'll only receive the rental allowance if you are over the age of 18 and are registered at (and renting) an independent accommodation; a room in a house doesn't count. If you're not from an EU country nor Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland,  a valid residence or work permit is required.

To see if you are eligible for rental allowance in the Netherlands, be sure to read the conditions on the tax authorities' website.

Getting that home in RotterdamGetting that home in Rotterdam

Getting that apartment in Rotterdam!

Rotterdam has a lot of apartment buildings. If you find a building you like while searching the various home rental platforms, check if you can sign up for notifications. This way, you'd be among the first to know when an apartment becomes available.

When an apartment does become available, let the landlord or agency know as soon as possible. The housing market is a very fast business, places can go very fast. If you email them it might be too late. Therefore, it is best to call the landlord or real estate agency by telephone right away. They will quickly arrange a viewing for you (and others). Sometimes, you might need to make a decision on the spot, so make sure you have all your papers and finances in order if you're really serious about getting that apartment. 

After a smooth handover of the documents and paying the required deposit, they'll set a date for you to move in. After this the keys are yours!

How to find a room, apartment or house in Rotterdam

Ready to search for your new rental home in Rotterdam? Be sure you check the following websites!

Rental platforms for easy searching
In summary, Funda is a good site for finding homes for a certain price, as is Pararius. The latter will ask for a small registration fee if you want to receive notifications, but this will help you find quality housing that is often better than what other sites offer. Also, the Pararius website is available in English and differentiates between longterm apartments and short-stay apartments whereas Funda does not. Other solid and expat-friendly options include Interhouse, HousingAnywhere, which has an Airbnb vibe and Rotterdam Apartments, which also has short stay apartments on offer.
A relative newcomer to the scene is rentslam. The website offers a tool that scans more than 400 sites every 10 minutes, so you're never too late when responding. Their system allows you to find a rental house, flat or studio in Rotterdam without commission or brokerage fees.
WoonnetRijnmond is a good choice for social and private sector housing in and around the Rotterdam Rijnmond region and allows you to search for housing within the 'Rotterdamwet', but the waiting list tends to be impossibly long. A local agency with a wide inventory is Maashave (the website is in Dutch).

Student housing in Rotterdam
But wait, there's more!  One platform which is popular with students is Kamernet. The rooms and apartments on Kamernet are usually under 50m2 in size.  If you're under 34 and studying or starting out careerwise, check out Stadswonen Rotterdam. Last but not least, check out XIOR. It's a student housing complex on the Erasmus University campus. Each of the aforementioned websites is available in English.
Pets in Rotterdam - shops, animal shelters, breeders, owners

Pets in Rotterdam - shops, animal shelters, breeders, owners

Looking for a pet? In Rotterdam, there are various ways to find yourself a furry (or fishy) friend. From pet shops to breeders and from animal shelters to online marketplaces. 

Pets in Rotterdam 

Pets are great. For some people, a pet is everything, for others, a pet is a great addition to the family and for many, a pet is a best friend. Especially during times when staying and working from home is a thing, we would all like some company. But if you have not got a pet already, what to do? If you are not willing to catch yourself a wild parakeet freely flying around Rotterdam (also I am not sure if it is legal), then where can you get your hands on your furry or feathery or even scaly next best friend?

Pet Shops

Somehow, the smaller your future pet, the easier it is to simply get one in a shop. There are still pet shops around Rotterdam, where you can get fish, turtles, budgies (and maybe even parrots), mice, hamsters, and rabbits. Anything furry and little, just make sure you do not get two of the opposite sex, or it will be you who will be supplying the pet shop soon. Also, you can get a lot of advice for the beasties on sale and all the gear and food they need too. 
Fish skyscraper 📷 Anna SoetensFish skyscraper 📷 Anna Soetens
Sleeping fluffy 📷 Anna SoetensSleeping fluffy 📷 Anna Soetens

Animal shelters 

If you do not mind an older animal (to be fair, they sometimes have young animals too) or one that already had a home that was not a fit, you can always visit an animal shelter. For the Rotterdam area, you can check out You can find cats and dogs, but also rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and even ex-test animals (mainly beagles, rats, and mice). It obviously also makes you a better person straight away to adopt your future best friend in a time of need, but there might be limitations, or you might just not be able to find what you are after. There are more websites with street dogs and such but have a good look before your “order”. Most of them are not from around as the Netherlands are nearly free of strays and will have to travel here from other countries. 
Screenshot Ik Zoek BaasScreenshot Ik Zoek Baas


If you already had a pet, you could always go back to where you got it and try your luck. That is also true for breeders, of course. Just right now, you probably will not have much luck and might have to go on a waiting list. Also, be prepared to shell out a few more quid than the last time you got your pooch or kitty.  


In the Netherlands, Marktplaats is quite literaly the Dutch equivalent of Ebay. Via this popular online marketplace, you can find just about anything, including pets!  You can get or ask for cats, dogs, and other pets on Marktplaats. Mind that you will have to do your own research. This means, you will have to check carefully, where they have grown up, how much money you are willing to spend and how long you must travel to get your hands on the fluffy friend advertised. And a word of advice; Marktplaats is not known for their user’s brilliant communication, so do not be surprised if you do not hear anything when sending a message. 
Screenshot MarktplaatsScreenshot Marktplaats

Vets, friends, pet pensions and supermarkets

Yes, an unlikely combination that title, but they are all worth a try. If you have friends with pets, ask them where they got them from. Maybe there are still some available where those came from. If you already had a pet and are considering a replacement now that some time has passed, you could check with your pets’ old vet or pet pension. These guys know a lot of people with pets and certainly, vets will have heard if young cuddlies have been born somewhere. Supermarkets are not that much of an outside chance as you might think. Check the notice boards there, people still leave messages in search of jobs or pets for or from the neighbourhood. Little old-fashioned, but still works. 
Looking for a vet in Rotterdam? Search for 'dierenarts rotterdam'Looking for a vet in Rotterdam? Search for 'dierenarts rotterdam'
Make Rotterdam's balconies green again!

Make Rotterdam's balconies green again!

How green are your thumbs? Compared to residents of Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, Rotterdammers are the least satisfied with their balconies and terraces. 
42% of Rotterdam residents don't have any plants on their balcony. The difference huge when compared to Amsterdam (22%) and Utrecht (27%). Rotterdammers tend to think they don't have any space to grow plants or that the space available is too worn and therefore inadequate. This, according to research conducted by

Vertical gardening in Rotterdam

If you're among the Rotterdammers who think there simply isn't enough space, or would rather use the available space for storage purposes, perhaps vertical gardening might be a viable option. Vertical gardening requires a lot less space than traditional gardening techniques.
Vertical gardening tip: climbing fruitVertical gardening tip: climbing fruit
You could try your hand (or thumb) at growing fruit and vegetables vertically by either placing stacked boxes at the edge of your balcony or layering the walls with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
Vertical gardening tip: tomatoesVertical gardening tip: tomatoes
For example, fruits such as berries and grapes can grow upwards along a wall, fence, pergola or balcony and therefore do not require much room.
Whether you have a lush garden or a tiny balcony, you can always grow your own fruit or vegetables and serve them from your own garden straight to your own plate.

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