Recently, Flattrust team has received many questions about how to search for a perfect room for people who are coming to Maastricht in the next semester. Our team recognized a demand for specific instruction on housing renting for students since the information provided by universities can hardly cover enough all the means and platforms to search for accommodation, as well as how to deal with frauds and scams on the housing market. Therefore, in this article, we will suggest and briefly discuss different ways to look for a room/apartment/house that match your budget and requirements.
Before starting searching for a room
The “first-of-all” thing you need to do is identifying the requirements you want in the accommodation. The questions such as “How much should the room be for you to afford?”, “How far is it from your school/work/city center you would like the room to be?”, “How big is the space that you need?” and more should be answered by yourself. You should also decide whether you want to rent a private room (room with shared kitchen/bathroom) or a studio (room with your own kitchen/bathroom). It is better if you have a specific range of price, distance, room size and other requirements that you want because it would make room search more straightforward and efficient.
Where to search for the room?
Coming to different ways of searching, we provide you the table below which will show some housing platforms and agencies, their advantages and disadvantages.
Students or landlords will post the information and pictures of the rooms that they want to offer on the Facebook groups. Tenants who are interested can contact them via message.
Advantages: Direct contact with renters via Facebook; mostly affordable rooms and no agency fee applied
Disadvantages: High competition between tenants in order to get the room; rooms are taken very quickly, so tenants should make a decision quickly; easy to experience frauds and scams.
These websites offer existing houses/rooms in the area with specific price and requirements. You have to register and even pay an amount of fee to be a member in order to use the service.
Advantages: A clear list of rooms, professional contract, and service; mostly bright, new and clean rooms; always have some rooms available.
Disadvantages: Higher price; additional fees (membership, contract,…); take a longer time to response and some agencies can have a bad reputation for treating customers
(***) We found it subjective to list out the agencies since we cannot guarantee whether their service quality is good or not. We would advise you to do the research yourself and try to avoid bad agencies.
3.UM Guest House
Maastricht University does not offer dormitory like other schools. Instead, they have Guesthouse with a similar concept.
Advantages: Clean and high-quality buildings with nice rooms and facilities; mostly exchange students of different nationalities live there -> good if you want some international experience.
Disadvantages: Higher price; the kitchen usually has to be shared with about 10 people; have a specific opening and closing time -> not really good when you want to go home late or leave early
* Some things you should keep in mind
1. Be aware of scams and frauds
Scammers exist everywhere, even in the Facebook groups or on housing websites. They try to steal money from people who are still new to the area. For more information on types of frauds and how to detect them, you read this post on our Facebook page
2. Be aware of bad landlords and agencies
As we heard from other fellow students in Maastricht, problems with agencies and landlords also usually appear, such as agencies charging a large amount of nonsense and illegal fees or landlords being rude and forcing tenants to pay additional money. Therefore, when deciding to rent any room, you should get to know the agency or the landlord beforehand to avoid the problems.
3. Check the regulations and contracts carefully
In Maastricht, the regulations for housing are quite strict, especially for student houses. Making sure that you know the laws and regulations in Maastricht (such as one bedroom can only be registered by one person) and understand all the terms mentioned in the contract. If there is anything unclear, you should discuss with renters before signing.