Since Delft is quite a small city, there aren’t thousands of students all clamouring for every apartment which appears online - however, there also aren’t as many places to choose from. The market is pretty genial though, so you should be able to find a few listings, visit them, meet the existing tenants (if there are any) and nab a decent apartment before your studies start. If you’re on an official exchange program, check with your university whether or not there is student-specific housing available.
The best thing to do is start online - it’s so, so much easier to find a place using online platforms than to go through the rigmarole of using a physical estate agent. Not to mention, it’s a lot cheaper.
The cheapest way to live is to rent a single room in a shared apartment. Just like you, loads of students in Delft will be heading off elsewhere for exchange, so there’s a good chance their room will be listed online for the duration of the trip. If you try the Housing Anywhere Delft page, we are always putting up new listings for nice, verified rooms in the city. Sometimes these are entire apartments, but often it’s a room within a flat full of other students.
It’s undoubtedly an advantage to book a room a few weeks or months before actually making your move in to Delft. If you’re able to hop off the plane and head straight to your new flat, then you’re in a better position than 99% of exchange students! That’s what you get with Housing Anywhere and some other providers, as we also provide a full, unlimited return if your flat ends up being mis-advertised or if we are conned in any other way.
But many landlords and rental services do not offer this guarantee. If you choose to rent an apartment or room online, before physically inspecting the property yourself, make sure there’s a money-back guarantee of some kind. Hoaxes aren’t prolific in the Netherlands, but they do happen and nothing could cause a worse start to your stay here.
Check whether the rent is inclusive or exclusive before deciding on a flat.
Inclusive - All utilities (water, electric or gas) and possibly the internet are included in the rental price.
Exclusive - Only the rent is included, and utilities will cost extra.
It’s also important to know whether or not the flat is furnished. If you’re there for less than a year, unless it’s exceptionally cheap, you should probably steer clear of unfurnished properties. They’ll be expensive in the long run once you’ve bought all the appliances and furnishings you need to make it a home.
Make sure you have a contract and read it front-to-back so that you’re certain you know where you stand. Because of the language barrier, it’s always easier to hassle internationals than locals, and you’ll need to be prepared if (however unlikely it is) that should happen.
If you’re attending Delft University of Technology, then you should check out the housing page on their site and see how they can help you find accommodation. There’s a shortage of student-specific housing in Delft (as there is in every Dutch city) but they have connections across the city and could make it easier for you to find a decent place before moving.
Though a bit cheaper than in Amsterdam or The Hague, it’s not the cheapest city in Europe. However, you can often find a room for under €600 or so per month. The true range is more like €350-€700, but whether it's an inclusive or exclusive property can make a huge difference. Bills shouldn’t add more than €100 or so per month for the property - if you’re sharing an apartment, you’ll make big savings here.
As with any city, the closer you are to the centre, and the bigger and nicer your apartment is, the more it will cost. There will be bargains out there, it’s just a matter of doing diligent research and keeping your eyes open. That’s why we recommend looking for a few months before you move, with caution to avoid scammers lurking around looking for easy targets.