We know, we know. Housing in the Netherlands can be expensive. But there is a silver lining! If you live in a rented house, you may be entitled to huurtoeslag, or rental subsidy, which is essentially money from the government that goes towards your rent. In this section, we’ll cover the main questions related to huurtoeslag.
Am I eligible for huurtoeslag?
The basic conditions to be eligible for the subsidy are:
- You’re at least 18 years old
- You rent independent accommodation (meaning your place has its own front door and private facilities – kitchen, bathroom and toilet – which are all behind that front door)
- You’re registered at your home address in the Netherlands
- Your income and capital are not too high (the meaning of ‘too high’ depends on your situation; check here)
- Your assets aren’t too high (max. € 33,748 in 2023)
- Your rent isn’t too high (also see below for what costs come under ‘rent’)
- For those who are 23 years old, or older: max. €808.06 in 2023
- For those who are less than 23 years old: max. €452.20 in 2023
- You have the nationality of an EU country, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland. Non-EU nationals need a valid residence permit or work permit
What costs come under ‘rent’ for huurtoeslag applications?
If you’ve read our section on housing expenses, you’ll know that rent contains various separate components, including basic rent, service costs and utilities. Which of these are taken into account when calculating whether you’re eligible for huurtoeslag?
The Belastingdienst (Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, in charge of granting subsidies) requires the amount of your basic rent + service costs to be lower than the above figures (i.e. €452.20 for under-23s and €808.06 for over-23s). By ‘service costs’, they specifically mean:
- Costs of cleaning common areas (e.g. the elevators, staircase, common room)
- Energy costs for common areas (e.g. those of the lift, lighting, ventilation and alarm system)
- Costs for a caretaker, apartment guard, concierge, etc.
- Costs for repairs and maintenance of any service areas and/or recreation rooms (usually in the case of senior/retirement homes)
(Note that it may be the case that your accommodation does not charge you for any of the above.)
Can I get huurtoeslag if I live in a shared house?
If you rent independent accommodation (see above) alongside others, you can all apply for huurtoeslag together for the entire house. The person listed on the lease should be the one doing the application. Note that you still need to fulfil all of the above conditions to be eligible, and you have to check whether your roommates count as co-residents under the subsidy requirements.
How much money can I get?
The Belastingdienst themselves cannot give one answer to this question, as it is highly dependent on your situation. Some general rules apply, though:
- Less income means more subsidy money
- Higher rent (that is still below the max. amount) means more subsidy money
- You will always have to pay a part of the rent yourself. The Belastingdienst estimates that the amount left over to pay for those with minimum income is around € 235
If you really want to know how much you would receive, you can make a test calculation. Be careful though, as there is no guarantee that your self-assessment will give the same results as what the Belastingdienst will give you! You may end up receiving less (or maybe more) money than what the test calculation told you.
At the end of the fiscal year, the Belastingdienst will send you a final calculation; this details the income you received in the past year, as well as the amount of housing subsidy you received. If the huurtoeslag amount you received is lower than the amount they should have sent you throughout the year, they will transfer the rest to you, so you don’t miss out on any money. This sounds wonderful, but beware! The opposite applies too: if they sent you too much money, you will have to pay back the excess.
How can I apply for huurtoeslag?
Once you’ve checked that you fulfil all the requirements listed above, you can go ahead and apply! We made a nifty guidance document to guide you through the process in 8 simple steps, with screenshots and Dutch-to-English translations! Scroll down to find it.
How do I know if my application was accepted?
The Belastingdienst will send you a letter after your application letting you know whether or not you will receive the subsidy.
When do I start receiving huurtoeslag? And when is it paid out?
The subsidy starts on the first of the month, and the Belastingdienst usually transfers the amount on the 20th of every month. This is meant to be an advance payment for the next month’s rent.
Can I get huurtoeslag retroactively?
The short answer is: yes! As a general rule, you can apply for the subsidy until September of the following year. For example, if you want huurtoeslag for 2021, you have until the 1st of September 2022 to complete your application.
What if my situation changes and I am no longer eligible?
If something happens and you no longer fulfil a/some condition/s, then you need to notify the Belastingdienst of these changes in your situation within four weeks.
What if I move to a different accommodation?
If you change accommodation and your new housing still fulfils the requirements for huurtoeslag, you can apply for the subsidy for your new address if you:
- Have registered this new address with the municipality
- Actually live at the new address