Can I apply for rent allowance?

Check the requirements of the Dutch tax department

Can I apply for rent allowance?

Did you find a nice new house, but is the rent too high for you to pay for? Or are you looking for a new apartment and are you wondering if you are entitled to rent allowance for this apartment? Check if you meet the requirements below.

What is rent allowance?

Rent allowance is an allowance for the rental costs for people that have difficulties paying the rent, because comparing to their income the rent is relatively high.

Requirements for rent allowance

There are requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for the allowance:

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. You must have a rental contract signed by both you and the landlord. This cannot be a temporary contract because your current house is being demolished because for these types of contracts, there is no right to apply for rent allowance.
  3. You must rent an apartment. An apartment is an accommodation with a private kitchen and a private toilet. If you do share the bathroom, you are still considered to be renting an apartment. In general, tenants of rooms are not able to apply for rent allowance.
  4. Then, everyone who lives with you must have a Dutch nationality, a nationality of another EU country, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland. Are you from another country? Then you need a valid residence permit from the IND.
  5. Finally, the rent of the house can not be too high and you cannot have too much income or capital (see below).

The rental price for the Dutch tax authorities

In order to determine the amount of your rent allowance you have to determine what’s the rental price for the Dutch tax authorities. The rental price for the Dutch tax authorities may differ from the price you are paying to your landlord. The rent for the Dutch tax department consists of your basic rental price and if applicable some service costs.

The basic rental price is the price you pay for the use of your apartment, excluding the costs for utilities and other services provided by your landlord. Are you paying an all-in rental price? Then you first have to split your rental price. Frently can do this for you.

The service costs that are to be considered in the amount of rent allowance are: energy costs for communal areas, cleaning costs for communal areas, the costs of the janitor and the costs for service and recreation rooms. You can enter a maximum of 12 euros per service. If you pay other service costs, they do not count towards the calculation of the calculation rent.

Do you live alone?

  • Are you between the ages of 18 and 23?
    Your rental price should not be lower than € 231.87 and not higher than € 417.34 (2018).
  • Are you 23 or older?
    Then the calculation rent may not be lower than € 231.87 and not higher than € 710.68 (2018). If you turn 23 in the course of the year, then this limit will apply from the month after you turned 23.

Do you live with someone?

If everyone is between the ages of 18 and 23, the calculation rent may not be lower than € 231.87 and not higher than € 409.92. If at least one person within the household is 23 years or older, the calculation rent may not be less than € 231.87 and not higher than € 710.68.

Are you younger than 18?

In that case you are only eligible for rent allowance if you meet all the other conditions and both your parents have died or you have a child.

Income and assets (2018)

There are also income limits to determine whether you are eligible for rent allowance. If you live alone, the limit is € 22.400,= on an annual basis. If you don’t live alone, then the limit of € 30.400,= applies to the entire household. These limits are valid until you have turned 66 years old. The limits mentioned above are bruto income limits, so before taxes.

Did you have more assets than € 30.000,= on the 1st of January 2018? In that case you will not be entitled to rent allowance throughout the year. Assets include savings. Do you have questions about this? Then contact the Tax Telephone on 0800-0543.

I share an address with multiple apartments

Sometimes the house you live in has only one house number, but there are several apartments inside the building. In that case, it is advisable to check with the municipality whether you can apply for a separate house number. You need a separate house number because the income of all people registered at the same address will be taken into account in the decision whether you are eligible for rent allowance. If the municipality is not able to help you, you are advised to contact the Dutch tax authorities.

How can I apply for rent allowance?

Do you meet all conditions and do you want to apply for rent allowance? Go to and log in with your DigiD on My Allowances. This is the only way to request for rent allowance online for free. After you have submitted the application, you will usually receive a decision within five weeks. This is the letter that states whether you have the right to receive rent allowance and if so how much. You will receive this letter digitally via My Allowances. If during the course of the year something changes in, for example, your rent or income, you are responsible for changing this on time. This way you avoid having to pay back later.

How much rent allowance can I get?

The amount of the rent allowance is determined by the combination of your rental price, your income and your household situation. Sometimes it happens that both your rent and your income fall within the limits, but that there is no entitlement to rent allowance. This is due to the relationship between the income and the rent. You can make a test calculation on the website of the Dutch Tax Department to see what applies in your situation.

Do you need help with the application for rent allowance? Feel free to contact Frently without any obligations.

2 Responses

  1. Soheila

    Is it possible to get a rental allowance for a 5-month sublet? What paperwork would be required?

    1. Denise Zonnebeld

      Dear Soheila,

      Yes, you are able to apply for rent allowance if you have a valid (written) rental contract that specifies your basic rent and service costs, and if you comply with the other conditions of the Dutch Tax Department mentioned in this article. It doesn’t matter if you are subrenting the apartment or rent it directly from the owner. Apply for a digid ( and request your allowance online.

      Kind regards,
      Denise Zonnebeld from Frently

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