Apply for a rent subsidy for your student accommodation in the Netherlands!
One of the basic expenses for international students is to pay for their accommodations. Such allocation, often accounts for the majority of the total student’s budget within a month. Consequently, they hardly do savings as they have a limited income. Luckily, if you live and study in the Netherlands, you do not need to worry about spending so much money on your temporary student housing. This is because the Dutch Government offers financial aid via a rent subsidy for those who are qualified.
Now, you might be wondering if you are eligible to this subsidy.
The only thing you need to do is to stay focus on this article as it will give you a fruitful information about how to get a rent subsidy in the Netherlands.
Instead of spending your money on the expensive accommodations you can just save your money on your lovely “piggy bank”!
Let’s start with the definition. What is a rent subsidy and for whom is it for?
A rent subsidy (huurtoeslag) is a form of tax refund provided by the Dutch Government for people who rent a room or a house in the Netherlands who do not have a sufficient income. International students who enroll in Dutch Universities with or without scholarship are welcomed to apply for accommodation subsidy as long as they meet specific terms and conditions.
Here is some information to check your eligibility if you plan to apply for a rent subsidy:
- First, for instance, you need to make sure that you are 23 years old or higher.
- Next, your annual income (living allowance) is below €22.400 with savings of no higher than €30.000.
- Furthermore, the cost of your monthly accommodation is between €225,08–€710,68.If you live in Wageningen, several student rooms located in Bornsesteeg, Haarweg and Earth house are qualified for a rent subsidy.
If you are a PhD student, The Tax and Custom Administration of the Netherlands (Belastingdienst) has currently considered that a PhD’s income as a work-related income.
This is unlike bachelor or master students (that got their incomes from scholarship or grants from their home countries) who can eventually claim an exemption to the income tax. So, make sure that your financial situations meet those requirements.
Other aspects before the application
Another aspect to consider before applying a rent subsidy is to finalize your Dutch paperwork. Of course, if you live in the Netherlands you must have a Dutch citizen service number (BSN) and a valid residence permit. You can have them by registering your personal information and current address at the municipality upon your arrival in the Netherlands.
Once you get a BSN number, you can apply for a DigiD (Digital Identification). It is a form of online ID that allows you to access many services provided by Dutch Government including a rent subsidy. A Dutch bank account is required as the money (subsidy) will be transferred by Belastingdienst via this account.
You need to go to the application page (huurtoeslag) by firstly log in using your DigiD account. All information in the website (including the application form) is written in Dutch. Therefore, unless you understand the language, a Dutch friend can be a big help during the application.
Another option could be asking for the assistance to the helpdesk. In Wageningen, you can go to Housing Desk
- Location: Generaal Foulkesweg 37, 6703 BL Wageningen (Monday to Friday from 16.00 to 17.00).
Last but not least, make sure that you give the correct information regarding your income and the cost of your accommodation. The consequences if you give false information, you have to refund all the money that have been transferred by Belastingdienst to your bank account. All the process takes approximately 8 weeks until you get your rent subsidy.
Interesting, isn’t it? If you still have any question leave a comment below!
Written by: Isnawati Hidayah (Master of International Development Studies)
Edited by: Muhammad Syamsu Rizaludin (Master of Organic Agriculture)