When you are in the AZC, you can also look for a house yourself, but this is a difficult task. Also when you already live in a rental home, you can look for another house and move. If you want to do this, there are a couple of things you should pay attention to.
Renting a house in the free sector
Do you want to rent a more expensive house, of more than €710 per month? This is what we call renting in the free sector. In the free sector (also called private housing), you are responsible for the search for your own house. You can get help from a ‘makelaar’ (estate agent). You have to pay for this service. Searching for a house this way can be very expensive. And pay attention! For a rental house about 710 euro you will not get huurtoeslag.This means that renting in the free sector is often unaffordable with a low income.
⇒ More information about the difference between renting a social rented house and renting in the free sector.
⇒ Never sign a housing contract too fast! Inform yourself about the precise costs of renting your own house. Also the long-term costs!
⇒ Do you arrange your own house? Make sure that the municipality agrees with your choice. Also check if you will still get your bijstandsuitkering.
⇒ Do you receive benefits from the government? And do you live together with someone else? It can be that you will get less money. This is because you live together and officially share your costs. This is what we call the ‘kostendelersnorm’.
⇒ More information about this you can find here.
Renting a room
Are you young and single? Student rooms where you share a kitchen and bathroom are also available for rent. It can be a cheap way to rent an accommodation.
However, pay attention:
⇒ Want to sign your housing contract? It is important that the municipality where you rent the room will still pay your bijstandsuitkering. To make sure this is the case, contact the municipality! Sign the contract only when you are well informed!
⇒ Are you renting a room? And do you receive uitkering? Then your rent has to be commercial rent. That is a room that you rent with an official renting contract from an owner that has a rental permit.
⇒ When you move in with someone you know, this accommodation does not have to be rented commercially. But: when you move in with someone it can change the height of your uitkering (and the income of the person that rents the accommodation).
⇒ When you move into a room directly from your COA location, you do not have priority to the waiting list for social housing any more.
⇒ When you move to a room or house you found yourself VWN does not arrange everything for you. In most cases you have to arrange a lot of things yourself. Like the paperwork, paying the deposit (an extra month of rent), costs for furniture etc. It can be really helpful to have the help of a Dutch person. Speaking Dutch and knowing the Dutch institutions are really important to arrange everything when you rent your own house. Are you in doubt if you can do this: then think again if this is really the right choice!
On the waiting list for social housing again (?)
You can always sign in again with the housing corporation. For example with www.entree.nu for the Arnhem-Nijmegen region. You will be put at the bottom of the waiting list. This means that you have to wait a long time before you have the right for another rental home. You can react weekly on available accommodations through the website.
Not every rental house you will find, suits your situation. Find yourself a house that fits your income and family situation. You can find the rules for this here.
Lottery drawing houses
To have a bigger chance on a social rented house while you wait, most housing corporation have a lottery system for some of the houses they rent. Everyone can react to the accommodation and out of all people they will chose one person/family to rent the house. In this case it does not matter how much waiting time you have.
⇒ You will find a weekly overview of these houses for the Nijmegen-Arnhem region here: www.entree.nu. Do you want to react on lottery houses? You first have to register with the corporation.
⇒ Every registered person that reacts to the houses, has the same chance to receive the accommodation.
Exchanging rental homes
Sometimes it is possible to exchange social rented houses. Both renters should want to exchange their house. You have to find the right exchange partner for your house, so both of you are happy with the exchange. You can register your house at this website for an exchange: www.woningruil.nl. There are also different Facebook pages where you can find exchange partners. This can be within your municipality or in a different municipality.
⇒ Before you exchange, make sure that your housing corporation agrees with your exchange.
⇒ It is important that you inform yourself whether or not your new municipality will still pay your uitkering. Make sure you know this before you sign a new contract for a house!