Finding housing yourself

Finding housing yourself can be a real challenge. That's why the Housing Office shares information and advice about the possibilities and pitfalls.

Private rented accommodation

There are many ways to find housing in the Netherlands. To find your own room or apartment keep the following in mind.

1. Start your search as soon as possible. Even if you have not yet been accepted or signed an employment contract with Leiden University. Accommodation availability is limited so the earlier you start searching, the greater the chance you'll find a place to live.
2. Take a look at the search suggestions on our website. The Housing Office website provides information about housing organisations and agencies, both in Leiden and The Hague.
3. Please be aware of rental scams. Contact the police if you think you are the victim of a scam.
4. If you need a visa or residence permit you are requested to send a ‘proof of address’ in the Netherlands to the Admissions Office.
5. If you are a private landlord interested in renting out accommodation to Leiden University students please contact us.

Staying with family or friends

Studying, working and living abroad can be quite a challenge. If you have the opportunity to stay with family or friends that will be one less thing to worry about.

Don’t forget to send a proof of address to the Admissions Office if you need a student visa or residence permit.

How to avoid and recognise a rental scam

When you think you've found a suitable apartment to rent follow the advice below to avoid being the victim of a rental scam.

• Make sure the apartment can be rented through official websites or companies that are officially registered. You can also check this black list (Dutch only) of rental scammers or search on the web or on the website of the Chamber of Commerce.
• Check out the address on Google. Make sure the apartment really exists.
• Scammers often use stolen identities. Search for their picture on the web. Make an appointment to meet in person or through Skype. Make sure the landlord is actually the person he/she claims to be.
• Never send a copy of your passport or credit/debit card to strangers.
• Because of housing scarcity in Leiden and The Hague you might receive unwanted emails from scammers trying to rent their (non-existing) accommodation to you. Unsolicited emails could be rental scams.
• Never sign a housing contract without having first read it carefully. Be sure you fully understand and agree with what you are signing for.

There are many variations of rental scam but these are some ways of recognising one.

• You have to pay rent (or other costs) in advance to a non-trusted person or organisation without having seen the apartment or having met anyone.
• You have to transfer money to a foreign/non-Dutch bank account.
• The rental price is much lower than other apartments in the same area/location.
• The pictures sent do not resemble the location in any way.
• The scammer is too eager or too pushy to rent the apartment to you.
• You have a bad feeling about the landlord or how things are proceding.

What if you have been scammed?
If you have been scammed don’t lose hope of finding another apartment. Always contact the police to let them know you have been scammed. They might be able to find the scammer and prevent others being scammed in the future.

Last Modified: 22-12-2016