Housing

Utrecht is a great city to live in. But student housing is scarce. So start early when searching for a room. Search in as many ways at once and be creative. On this page you will find some tips to help you on your way.

Housing options

Utrecht has the housing problems of any major city in Europe. This means that not everyone can live in the city centre close to the buildings of HKU. Most students live in a radius of about 20 minutes (by bike) from school. Rents in Utrecht vary between € 375 to € 700 per month. However, due to a shortage of student housing, it is not uncommon to pay more than €1000 per month.

These are the most common types of student housing:

  • Students houses where each student has their own room and you share the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Student housing with single or shared rooms and shared facilities.
  • Landlord or host family. Students rent one room and share the kitchen and bathroom with the owner of the house.

What is hospiteren?

Hospiteren is a system used in many Dutch student houses to find a new housemate. Current occupants invite people responding to their advertisement for an introduction. The housemates then decide which person would best fit in their home. Generally you will be asked a number of questions about your hobbies, education, sports or other habits.

Be yourself and ask questions as well. It is an excellent opportunity to find out if the room and housemates suit you.

Please check the ISIC website for tips and information on hospiteren.

Rental Agreement

Did you find a room? A rental agreement will offer you some protection and is binding for both parties. Without a rental agreement you basically have unofficial accommodation. This will give problems when you attempt to register at City Hall. This can also have negative consequences for your residence permit and your HKU enrolment.

Hospi Housing

Hospi Housing revives the concept of homestay by connecting (international) students to local hosts and guest families. Hospi Housing offers personal advice and helps to find the perfect match.

You can sign up for free, search on the platform and chat with hosts as long as you like. When you find a room, Hospi Housing charges a one-time fee equalling 50 percent of the first month’s rent.

To Hospi Housing

Address registration

Are you staying in the Netherlands for longer than four months?

In that case you need to register as an inhabitant of your city in the Netherlands.

You register at the local City Hall (the BRP). Registration is a condition for your registration as a student at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and for non-EU students also for your residence permit (VVR). If you are a European citizen you do not need a residence permit.

Which documents do you need?

To register as an inhabitant in the city you live in you will need the following documents:

  • a valid passport or EU ID-card
  • proof of address (for example a rental contract) Keep in mind that the contract must have started before or at most on the date of your appointment. It also needs to be signed by both you and the landlord. SSH contracts are confirmed digitally and don’t require a formal signature.
  • proof of VVR application for non-European students (IND letter which is provided in the MVV-VVR upload tool)
  • a birth certificate (for EU citizens an international birth certificate); if you forgot to bring one, some of the municipality will process your registration but you will have to provide one as soon as possible. The civil registry will only accept official documents in Dutch, English, French or German. An official translation will be required for other languages. Some documents may also require proof of authenticity (legalisatie). More information on this subject is available on the website of the Ministry of foreign Affairs.
  • students from the Dutch Caribean will need to hand in a proof you have been de-registered in the BRP of your home country.
You need to register in your own city. Every city has their own city hall.
You can find the contact details of some of the most common cities below.
  • City Hall Utrecht

    The city hall of Utrecht has special desks available for international students which will be open in February (second semester) and end of August and September (first semester). As an extra service you will receive directly the BSN number after the address registration.

    You need to make an appointment before visiting. An online appointment service is available via the website of the municipality of Utrecht.

    It can be busy at the municipality, please make an appointment as soon as you have your rental contract.

    Visiting Address: Stadskantoor, Stadsplateau 1, 3521 AZ Utrecht

    Flyer Student registration(pdf)

  • City Hall Amsterdam

    First time registrations must take place at Amsterdam City Hall or one of the City Offices in person. To make an appointment, call the City of Amsterdam’s helpline number: 14 020 or +31 (0)20 624 1111 (if calling from abroad). Please wait untill you can 'press 2' for English or you are forwarded to an employee. More information you can find on the I Amsterdam website.

  • City hall Zeist

    You will need to make an appointment online via the website of Zeist city hall. You will also need to fill out an application form which you can also find online.

    Visiting address: Het Rond 1, 3701 HS Zeist

    For questions you contact the city hall Zeist via email: zeist@zeist.nl or telephone: 14030 or +31 30 6987911

Are you staying in the Netherlands shorter than four months?

Students who stay 4 months or shorter can not register the Dutch address in the BRP. You need to register yourself as a non-resident in the RNI (Register Non-Resident). With your registration in the RNI you will receive a BSN number which you will need to open a Dutch bank account. For the registration you will need a valid passport or EU ID-card. The RNI desks are located in 19 cities. More information about the registration non-resident can be found here.

RNI Utrecht (you can only visit with an appointment)
Phone: +31 30-2860000 Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm
E-mail: RNI@utrecht.nl
Visiting address: Stadskantoor, Stadsplateau 1 in Utrecht.
More information avalaible about RNI in Utrecht.

BSN number

The citizen service number (BSN) is a unique personal number allocated to everyone registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database.

After your first (address) registration in the Netherlands you will receive a BSN (citizen service number). You need this number to open a Dutch bank account or when you start working, this number will be used as your tax number. Here you will find some more information about the BSN number.

Rent benefit

Do you live in a rented house in the Netherlands? If so, you may be entitled to rent benefit. This is a contribution towards your rental costs. Tenants can apply for housing benefit if their rent in relation to their inocome is too high. You must comply to some conditions, such as: you are 18 years of age or older and you rent independent accommodation.

You can apply for rent benefit via the Dutch tax authorities de Belastingdienst.

There are several organisations that may help you find a room. Make sure to apply on time, because the waiting times in Utrecht are long. Always make sure to keep searching yourself!

Student accommodation

SSH rents out accommodation for students. SSH rooms are often in student residences. In addition to permanent housing, SSH also offers temporary accommodation. These are rooms in apartments and flats due for demolition or renovation. The waiting time for temporary rooms is far shorter than for other SSH accommodation.
Visit the SSH website

For students of Utrechts Conservatorium, Fine Art and Design

For students who study at the HKU Utrechts Conservatorium, HKU Fine Art or HKU Design, there are additional options with regard to the availability of rooms. Look at these pages for more info:

Sites to look for rooms

Please note: we can't guarantee the quality of these intermediary agencies and platforms. Always be alert for slumlords or con artists before committing to anything. HKU does not accept any responsibility for decicions you make.

Keep these things in mind when looking for (and finding) a room:

  • Do you live with other tenants? Or is it a room in the landlord's own residence?
  • Can you easily get into your own room? Or do you have to go through someone else's room first?
  • Is there a kitchen?
  • Is there a clean toilet and bathroom?
  • Are gas, water and electricity included in the price? Or is the rent 'bare'?
  • Is the room worth the price? Use the legal point system to calculate the maximum legal rent
  • Make sure you've seen the room before you transfer rent or deposit
  • Always ask for a receipt if you have to pay a deposit or rent
  • Never transfer the rental amount for the entire rental period in one go
  • Ask if you can register with the municipality at the address

Social rental accommodation

WoningNet Regio Utrecht offers social housing in the Utrecht region and homes in the private sector. It is advisable to register immediately after your 18th birthday. Then you will already have built up some waiting time during your studies. It can take from three to ten years to get to the top of the waiting list. You can also register for SSH and WoningNet at a discount through SSH. Please note: in order to qualify for social housing, you must have the Dutch nationality or a valid residence status.

Visit the website of Woningnet Regio Utrecht

When you've found a room

Sign the rental contract

Have you found a room? Make sure you get a rental contract. This has a few advantages: you can register with the municipality where you are going to live and you are entitled to rent protection. For example, you cannot simply be kicked out of your room.

You will find useful information about rental contracts on the website of the national government. You can download a standard rental contract at Kamer.nl.

Register at the municipality

You can register in Utrecht via the Loket Burgerzaken.

Don't have a rental contract? Then you cannot register with the municipality. Please note: this may have consequences for your student allowance, if you receive one from the government. For international students not having a rental contract may have consequences for their residence permit and registration at the HKU.

Registering for students from the Caribbean Netherlands

Are you from Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Maarten or Sint Eustatius? And are you going to live in the Netherlands? Then you must deregister from the PIVA population administration. Take your proof of deregistration with you to the Netherlands. You need this to register with the municipality where you are going to live.

More about deregistering from PIVA (Dutch)

Apply for rent allowance

Is the rent too high in relation to your income? Then you can apply for benefits from the
tax authorities. You must be at least 18 years of age, have the Dutch nationality or have legal residence status.

Help with rental problems

Are you wondering whether the rent you need to pay is fair? Do you doubt the conditions in your contract? Organisations Huurteam and Vidius will help you check and discuss these kinds of issues with your landlord free of charge.

Some landlords don't follow the rules. Are you dealing with a slum landlord? Notify the Meldpunt Huisjesmelkers.