Renting in Haarlem

Just over 40 percent of Dutch people rent their homes, and the country has a high level of social housing. This is also the case in Haarlem. Rents are assessed and controlled for low-value properties, and in some areas there are restrictions on who is allowed to live where, giving priority to those with a strong connection to the area, such as having been born there, having family in the area or working nearby.

Rent or buy?

As buying a property can take several months (generally at least three) and costs are typically at least 6 percent of the purchase price, it is recommended that you rent if you are new to an area or plan to stay less than three years.Rent or buy

Finding a house

Online property portals are popular, and you can also find rental properties through letting agencies ( verhuurbureaus ) and advertisements in local newspapers, as well as classified ads and internal company websites. Commissioning an estate agent to find you a place will typically incur a fee equivalent to one month’s rent.

As most Dutch industries are relatively closely knit, even in Haarlem, it’s best to only sign up with one agent or risk displeasing them all. Estate agents are obliged to work in the best interest of the tenant and should provide you with full information about the property.

ExpatsHaarlem has a number of preferred partners. Find them on our preferred partner page.


Monthly rent Typically EUR 700–1,200 for a two-bedroom apartment. Rent should only increase in line with inflation each year.
Deposit Typically equal to one months’ rent
Agent’s fees Typically equal to one month’s rent for a search agent hired by you, otherwise paid by the landlord.
FurnishingCosts may include carpet, light fittings and often kitchen appliances.
Utilities Often bundled with the rent, in which case make sure you understand what you’re paying for and that the utilities are metered.

Moving in and out.

Stripped houseEven if the property you are renting is completely unfurnished (kaal), it is often possible to buy the flooring and curtains from the previous tenant. However, no matter what agreement you made with the previous tenant or estate agent, you will have to reach a similar agreement with the following tenant because you usually have to return the property to a ‘neutral’ state when you leave – otherwise you will be charged the costs to do this. This typically means removing all additional flooring, light fittings and so on, and painting the walls white

Tenant’s rights

Dutch law is mostly in favor of the tenant, not the landlord, and there are fixed processes for disputing a rent, rental increase or other issues. You may wish to:

  • Contact tenant’s rights organisation, Wijksteunpunten Wonen, or visit their website;
  • Get in touch with the national rental commission (huurcommissie) in person or online (in Dutch only).
Nathalie van Haaster

Nathalie van Haaster

Housing manager at expatsHaarlem
Hello everyone! My name is Nathalie and I’m going to help you any way I can with your questions about renting/letting and buying/selling a house in Haarlem and surroundings. I myself live happily in Heemstede together with my husband and our two sons. My two boys were born in Stockholm where we lived for four amazing years. At the moment I’m studying to become a certified real estate agent/appraiser. With the end of my study in sight, I started working at Borghouts Makelaars in January 2016. Borghouts is a small, independent real estate agency, based in the beautiful Koniginnebuurt in Haarlem. Before, I worked at the Expatcenter Amsterdam as communications manager. I love to play tennis, listen to live music and I can never get enough of the most relaxing view, all year round: the sea.
Nathalie van Haaster

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Contact Erwin, expatsHaarlems housing expert