My situation

I live in the Netherlands and have a contract for the next 2 years with a gross per year of 25800. After taxation I receive 1550 net per month plus some bonuses (8% of annual salary) twice a year.

My girlfriend was just offered a "0 hour contract" from a restaurant with the verbal promise that she will be able to work 20 hours a week. The per hour pay was not mentioned so I will assume 8 per hour net.

The (potential) problem

All in all I expect us to be making around 2500 - 3000 net per month with which I believe we can afford to pay 1000 in rent (inclusive). However my experience with housing agencies is not the best: They require proof that I making at least 3x the rent price which:

  1. I am not making (at least not on my own)
  2. My girlfriend will be unable to prove how much she makes as it is based on the 0 hour contract

Given my financial situation, will I be able to rent a place? What other considerations should I take into account? Please note that I don't care about being actually able to afford it (I have savings if it comes to that and expect my salary to double soon after the current contract ends). I only care about persuading landlords.

  • I don't remember how it was but my feelings are that I just agreed to pay rent amount and there were no checks if I can afford it. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


The 3x income rule typically applies to gross income, not net, so that helps bridge some of the gap you're looking at.

Some landlords are inflexible on their income rule, and you will not convince them if you are under it, but many landlords look at the whole picture, if your savings are significant enough then many landlords will take that into account. And though your girlfriend doesn't have guaranteed income, landlords will likely take that into consideration too.

For me, 3x is a rule of thumb, but if someone has a stellar credit and renting history but is a little short of my desired, then I'm fine with that. If someone was significantly under on their income but had very significant savings, I'd certainly take that into consideration.

I'd provide references to show you're a good tenant, and be prepared to prove that your savings can make up for coming in short of their income requirement.

  • Unfortunately until now I didn't have the chance of communicating with a landlord; I applied for 2 places through housing agencies but got rejected automatically both times. Is there a way to bypass those agencies and come in contact with the actual landlord? In that case you are probably right, I should be able to persuade him/her.
    – pilu
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 20:42
  • I'm less familiar with the rental market there, but if you just applied online and got rejected based on some parameters (did the application ask about savings?) then I'd try talking to someone at the agency rather than applying online. I'd also try to find listings that aren't using an agency if possible. Hopefully someone more familiar with the rental market there can weigh in on "how" to do that, but in my view you should certainly be able to secure housing.
    – Hart CO
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 20:50

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