Looking after yourself and having fun
Finding somewhere to live really isn’t as daunting as it may seem for a city in another country. The key is to start early, once you’ve received your Philips contracts ~ March. The good news is Philips pay you an additional €140.00 a month tax free towards rent. Plus, you’ll find most places available will have bills included, or a system set-up with a set monthly amount for energy that will be refunded if not maxed out- so you can avoid hunting down the best tariff deals amongst Dutch companies!
Another great benefit is that most Dutch companies have an English version of their website available, staff who speak English, and Dutch contracts pre-translated to English for signing. Additionally, Eindhoven often has an influx of international interns only staying for short periods of time, so rental of studios in particular should be flexible on the dates that fit you. You’ll find that there are houses, flats, studios and options to go into halls so it’s very likely you’ll find something!
Philips do have a link with a the company Rostvast, email@example.com, where Philips will pay for the brokerage fee for you. However, applying this way will often mean allocation to a room in a flat with others you don’t know, and I heard from others that they don’t settle this arrangement until you’re very soon to leave (which just equals panic to me!). I wouldn’t be worried about living with new people, but I know in previous years a student has found themselves in a flat with people of predominantly one nationality, which meant they preferred speaking their own language and excluded the student. Another thing to consider is there may also be others from Sheffield who you may want to live with!
There were actually seven of us from our year who went out to work at Philips. Initially, four of us tried to find a place together but some companies said there was a law in place in Eindhoven that requires an extra licence for more than three adults to live together. My understanding is that accommodating more adults means that further Government standards have to be met by the landlord. Because of this, you’ll likely find most of the ‘4 people’ properties are further advertised as a 3 adult /1 child or 2 adult / 2children. Just something to be aware of if you were planning to live together, but worth trying different companies as they may have registered licences in place.
It ended up that three of us rented a house together and the others split into pairs in two separate flats. Really, a key thing to be aware of is that you probably won’t be in student accommodation so the rent and deposit will be higher than you are likely used to and you may have to prove your financial stability and reliability.
For example, in order to sign for the house, I had to prove that I alone, as lead tenant, would have at least 3 times the FULL rent amount in my account throughout my stay. (So essentially 6 times what I would pay a month; my ⅓, x 3 to make the full rent amount, and x 3 to show my financial reliability). I thought this was silly as it just ignored the fact that other two tenants were responsible for the other 2/3s of the rent, and put sole ‘proof’ responsibility on me, so be warned if you’re lead tenant! I was also asked to forward on everyone’s Philips contracts showing our income and confirmation of employment in Eindhoven.
Additionally, it is quite common for the deposit to be worth two months’ rent in Holland and you’ll also find a lot of properties renting for a minimum of 6 months but it may still be worth e-mailing to show your interest if time is wearing thin and they want to fill their property!
You’ll also want to look out for a fully furbished place! So with saucepans, crockery and bedding and such, as well as wardrobes and sofas, table etc. However, you’re probably not going to fly out to view the place before signing the contract, so make sure you check any photos available on the website and have a good discussion with the letting agency over the contract and exactly what’s included. Our house was advertised as a fully furnished ‘3 bedroom’ property but on inspection of the website photos, two of the rooms didn’t actually have beds. Fortunately, I questioned this in enough time that they could be added to the contract, and the property, in time for our arrival with no extra charge.
Don’t be afraid to ask or request if aspects of the contract can be altered, there’s probably more room for negotiation actually than with student houses as you’re paying more monthly.
Other advice it to check the location – mainly based on google cycle time! I found a 25 minutes cycle to the HTC and 10-15 minutes into town worked really well. I’d say you want to aim to be closer to town (look up Primark or St. Catharina Kerk) than the HTC, in my opinion, in case you want to walk in. I lived in an area called Strijp-S which was lovely, but for a ease of night out, for example, you may want a location closer to town.
A final note on houses is to say, please check your inventory and contract carefully to make any disputes as easy as possible to resolve. Your deposit will probably be a lot of money and you’ll want that back sooner rather than later and most of it too! Also please consider that in May you could have a deposit out on your current Sheffield house, your Eindhoven house, and your Sheffield house for next year…so saving up around January onwards could be helpful!
Some of the letting agencies myself and other Philips interns used are below;
- www.rotsvast.nl/en/rotsvast-eindhoven – does offer complete flat and house rental as oposed to the ‘single room option’ booked through the e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org as mentioned above.
- www.stoit.nl/en – the company I was with. Range of properties available. Were very fast at replying for all admin at beginning and end of tenancy which was useful, however soooo strict on contract I cried.
- goethvastgoed.nl/en/home – offers some great studio rooms within a house of 6 and a garden, also a higher floor apartment flat for two, north in the city with a great view.
- eindhoven2stay.com – part of Holland2stay, offers studios with roof access in the centre of Eindhoven.