Renting in Eindhoven: The basics
Welcome to Eindhoven – the City of Lights! You’ll find that living in Eindhoven is comfortable, affordable and fun... but first you need a place to stay.
Renting in Eindhoven is the most popular way to live, and the majority of people in the city rent the apartment they live in. This is very much in-line with the national pattern in The Netherlands, as the Dutch enjoy the freedoms and rights they have as tenants, and the flexibility to move if they want to. Many don’t move however, especially if they have secured a lease with a favorable rent!
As an expat it’s harder to get cheaper accommodation. Many expats earn too much to be eligible for social housing, and the waiting list is typically very long in any case.
To get social housing (which is much cheaper - currently less than €752.33 per month!), you need to register with the housing corporation and hope. If your income is about €40,024 per year then you are unlikely to secure a place in a social housing apartment; a maximum of 15% of the housing is allotted to people earning above this amount.
In practice, this means that you will need to find an apartment to rent in the ‘free sector’, and in this article we’re going to cover exactly how that works.
Overview of housing in Eindhoven
Eindhoven is a thriving city with an ever-growing population. The area has benefited from targeted investment that has made the province a magnet for high-tech companies around the world. The population of the city has increased by about 8% in the last 10 years, and this has created extra pressure on the housing in Eindhoven. This population growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
As we already touched upon, renting is the modus operandi for the majority of people in Eindhoven. You may be surprised to know that 56% of the overall housing in Eindhoven is in the form of rented accommodation that is owned by housing corporations or private landlords.
This might seem like quite a lot, but it’s actually lower than many other cities in the Netherlands, especially in the Randstad. As a point of comparison, the rental accommodation in Rotterdam makes up 64% of the total housing. The message from this: when people move to Eindhoven they stay. Total occupancy is very high, with 96% of all homes being lived in at any time.
There are many apartments for rent in Eindhoven, however there are also plenty of houses available too. About 61% of the housing in Eindhoven is made up of single-family dwellings, (in contrast to buildings that contain multiple apartments), however many of these don’t make it onto the rental market. This is much higher than the average in many other Dutch cities.
One factor in this phenomenon is that many new housing complexes have been built in and around Eindhoven in recent years. Nearly one-fifth of the housing in Eindhoven has been built since the year 2000. This has provided the area with comfortable, modern single-family accommodation that encourages people to settle down. This stretches across suburbs in a wide area that’s still within commuting-distance to the city.
Once people find a comfortable family house to rent, they tend not to move for many years - hence the lower availability of houses on the rental market.
Different types of housing in Eindhoven
A lot of people come to Eindhoven to study or work. This means there is a constant flow of people needing accommodation, and sometimes at short notice.
The average household in Eindhoven is small; 48% of the households are made up of a single-person, and a further 25% are couples with no children.
The result is that, in a city where much of the housing is made for families, there is less accommodation available for single people and couples. To have the best chance of success, you need to know the ‘lay of the land’ so you can approach this challenge with all the right information.
The housing in Eindhoven consists of the following types of accommodation:
Room (in shared house)
Many people rent out a room in a shared house, so this may be an option for you. These arrangements are often temporary, but they can suit both parties very well. For the renter, you benefit from shared utility costs and much lower rent. For the house-owner, they benefit from a little extra income that is generated by an otherwise empty room.
You should, of course, approach this situation with a little caution. You’ll probably need to share a bathroom.
Make sure you feel comfortable with the person/people you’re living with, and check that it isn’t some kind of scam. The normal situation would be staying in someone’s ‘spare room’ – so if the house is full of people who are just renting a room it might not be ‘totally legit’. You should be aware of the possibility that the ‘owner’ is actually just a renter themselves and that they’re subletting rooms illegally.
If this is the case, you might get kicked out by the real owner at any time.
Studio (one-room apartment)
A small self-contained apartment of around 30m2 to 45m2 is usually called a ‘studio’. These apartments have essentially one main room and a bathroom. There is usually a small kitchen area in one part of the room, or there may be a weak separation between the two – like a curtain.
Renting a Studio apartment in Eindhoven is not cheap, but it might be the best option for you if you don’t need much space. Renting a studio apartment is often comparatively expensive, but if the location is perfect it might be worth it to you.
Apartment (multi-room apartment)
A lot of the available rental accommodation in Eindhoven is in the form of apartments. These are often in modern apartment buildings that are well-designed and energy-efficient.
The majority of the total housing stock in Eindhoven is in the form of single-family buildings, called eengezinswoningen or woonhuizen. However, many of these don’t feature on the rental market, which is dominated by smaller dwellings in apartment buildings.
In fact, only around 10% of the available rental housing in Eindhoven are ‘houses’ (that are not divided into apartments). Renting a house in Eindhoven gives you superior value for money compared to renting an apartment, because the cost of rent per m2 is lower for larger properties.
How to rent an apartment or house in Eindhoven
Renting an apartment in Eindhoven is pretty straightforward, provided you have all the documentation you need - and enough money to cover all the expenses. When you rent an apartment there are a series of tasks you need to accomplish to reach the finish line, and it all starts with the property search.
Many expats who rent in Eindhoven start out by renting temporary accommodation while they look for something more permanent.
If you’re still living outside the Netherlands, you may be able to arrange a series of viewings in a few days. This way, you only need to stay in a hotel for a limited period. Anything longer than a few weeks and you might want to consider a short-stay apartment instead.
The basic process for securing a rental apartment in the free sector is to register with some housing agencies and real estate agents, and search online. The two main websites for property listings are Pararius and Funda, and these will contain almost all the properties on offer.
You can’t rely on a real estate agent or housing agency to find something for you – but they can help widen the search. Sometimes properties become available and never even get listed, because they can fill them with someone (like you) who’s already on their list. However, given the competitive nature of the rental market, it’s more likely that they’ll just list it online instead of calling people who might already have found a place. Still, it’s worth a shot.
To find an apartment to rent in Eindhoven, you should:
- Make a list of the essential characteristics your rental apartment should have: location, size, maximum budget, and number of rooms, for example.
- You should check the website listings every day, at least. When you see a property you like, call the agent immediately and arrange a viewing. This will normally happen within a few days of you calling the agent.
- When you look around an apartment, be sure to ask what is included in the rent and if it is furnished. Don’t exclude unfurnished (kale huur, in Dutch) apartments unless it’s a real ‘red line’ for you, because the majority fall into this category.
- You should also discuss terms like the duration of rent and the reason it is being rented out. Check to see that it’s in a good state of repair; if it isn't, that should ring an alarm-bell, because what kind of landlord wouldn’t make basic repairs before renting it out? Can you count on them to come and fix something if needed?
- When signing a contract, the agent will usually ask for copies of your ID documents/passport, residence permit, work visa, and a copy of your permanent employment contract. They may also ask for proof of funds.
Be aware that rental scams do happen here – rarely. You should be wary of dealing with private landlords, and you should check the reviews for any agent you’re seriously considering going with.
Private landlords are not necessarily a problem, but there is more assurance of everything being ‘above board’ when you deal with an agent. Also, be on the alert for any extra payments that the landlord is asking for, because it may not be legal.
The usual costs you’ll need to pay at the start of the contract are the first month’s rent, the deposit (equivalent to one-month’s rent), and the agent fee (also up to one-month’s rent).
Getting settled in
Finding a suitable place to rent or buy takes some time and effort - but it’s worth it! Once you’re settled in this wonderful city you’ll find plenty of things to do in and around Eindhoven, and many nice people to socialize with.
If you need a little help, we’re ready to offer all the advice or assistance you may need as you look for your new home. We have all the knowledge, expertise and connections needed to make it a wild success! Our clients find that our services really takes the headache out of the whole process, and makes it easier to start enjoying your adventure in The Netherlands.
Last Updated: June 1, 2022