Huurtoeslag: Your guide to rent allowance in the Netherlands

Learn about huurtoeslag, who is eligible, and how to apply for housing allowance in the Netherlands.


4 minute read
29 May 2024

Huurtoeslag, or rent allowance, is a housing benefit in the Netherlands for residents with lower income to help them cover their rent. Given the cost of renting, the housing allowance helps make the cost of living in the Netherlands more affordable.

Read on to learn about the requirements for rent allowance in the Netherlands, how much you can be reimbursed, who is eligible for huurtoeslag, and whether you need to pay it back.

Who is eligible for housing benefits in the Netherlands?

Every resident of the Netherlands who complies with the following conditions is eligible for housing benefit:

  • You’re older than 18
  • You’re registered in the Netherlands and have a social security number (BSN)
  • You have a valid EU/EEA/Swiss passport or a Dutch residence/work permit
  • Your income and assets don’t exceed the requirements (see below)
  • Your base rent is under €879.66 monthly
  • You have a Dutch bank account
  • You’re renting an independent living space (see below)
  • You have a valid rental agreement stating that you’re the main tenant, not a sub-tenant

Housing requirements

To be able to receive a housing allowance in the Netherlands, your base rent can’t be higher than €879.66 monthly. This amount can vary depending on your age and whether you have kids. If you’re:

  • between 18 and 23, with no kids: €454.57
  • between 18 and 22, with kids: €879.66
  • older than 23 years old: €879.66

This is the amount of your base rent, meaning that this is just the rent you pay for the property, excluding utility costs like gas, water, and electricity. However, service costs can be included in the €879.66. These can include costs like maintenance of the common areas, cleaning and energy costs, and the building manager.

In the Netherlands, rental property has to be considered an independent living space (zelfstandige woonruimte) to be eligible for a housing allowance. Apartments and studios are usually considered to be independent living spaces. For a rental to qualify as an independent living space, it needs to have the following:

  • a private shower or bathroom
  • a private toilet (with the water flushing)
  • a private bedroom/living room
  • a private kitchen with a water supply and drain, a sink, and an electrical/gas outlet for an oven
  • its own entrance door, which can be locked from the inside and outside

Other situations may allow your home to be considered an independent living space, but these are usually considered case-by-case.

Income requirements

Your housing allowance is determined based on your gross annual income, including alimony and holiday pay. Generally, the more you earn, the fewer housing benefits you’ll receive. The income requirements also depend on whether you have a co-resident, a child, or a fiscal partner. For example, are you part of a one-income or two-income household?

Additionally, any assets you have influence the amount of rental allowance you receive. Depending on whether you have a fiscal partner, the assets limit can be between €36,952 (no partner) and €73,904 (combined with a partner).

You can use this rental allowance calculator to check if you’re eligible for huurtoeslag.

Can international students get a rent allowance in the Netherlands?

One of the perks of studying in the Netherlands is that international students can get a rental allowance, too. The same requirements apply to you: you must rent an independent living space, be older than 18, be registered at the municipality, and have a valid EU passport or Dutch residence permit.

Generally, student dorms (studentcomplex) are considered independent living spaces only if the complex was eligible for huurtoeslag prior to 1st July 1997. You can ask your landlord about the status of the property.

How much is the rent allowance in the Netherlands?

The rent allowance varies depending on income, property size, fiscal partners, and children. If you earn the minimum salary in the Netherlands of €2,123 monthly, you’ll cover around €192 of your rent by yourself. Generally, the higher your rent is and the lower your income, the more housing benefits you can receive.

How do you apply for housing allowance in the Netherlands?

Before you start applying, make sure you’re registered with the municipality and know your income and base rent, as you’ll need that information. Also, activate your MijnOverheid, as you’ll receive the confirmation letter in your message box.

You can apply online via on the Dutch tax authorities website.

  1. Log in on Mijn Toeslagen (My allowances) with your DigiD. You’ll see a list of the 4 social benefits you can receive in the Netherlands.
  2. Select the Huurtoeslag option and click on “to request” (aanvragen) to apply
  3. Choose the date from which you want your rental allowance to start. The date should be the first date of your contract
  4. Answer the questions about personal information, like your income and whether you have a fiscal partner or debt.
  5. Submit the form
  6. Wait for the confirmation and see how much your allowance for 2024

You can expect your rental allowance around the 20th of every month.

Do you have to pay back the housing benefit in the Netherlands?

Rent allowance in the Netherlands is a subsidy, so you don’t have to pay the housing benefit back. The only case in which you might have to pay back the housing benefit if you fail to report housing or income changes, which result in a lower allowance.

For example, you’re promoted at work while receiving the housing benefit. Your promotion has been active since May, but you only updated the change in income on the Dutch tax authorities’ website in September. The new evaluation shows that you’re supposed to receive a lower huurtoeslag since your salary is higher. In this case, you’ll need to pay back the excess of the housing allowance you’ve received.

Similarly, if you move, get divorced, or change jobs, you need to update the Dutch tax authorities about it by re-doing your huurtoeslag evaluation. This applies to any social benefit you’re applying for, like the healthcare benefit (zorgtoeslag).

How long does it take to get the rent allowance in the Netherlands?

Once you’ve applied for huurtoeslag, you’ll receive approval and an estimate of your allowance within 5 to 13 weeks. You will get a message about it in your message box on MijnOverheid or Mijn Toeslagen.

So there you have everything you need to know about rental allowance in the Netherlands. Now that you know how to apply, sign on to Mijn Toeslagen and get your huurtoeslag.

This article is for informational purposes only.

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