Roommates sitting on the couch in their living room.

Living in Rotterdam

Room Rental Permit or Living Group

Group permits

A permit might be required to live in Rotterdam with a group of 3 or more people. But don’t worry! We will help you understand step by step what you might have to do. 

These permits and municipality requirements are only applicable to groups of 3 or more people. If you are in a group of 2, no permits are needed and no regulations are applicable.

If your group of 3 or more people consists of working professionals then you are required to form a living group (Woongroep), also referred to as a “sustainable household”.

If your group consists of students, then a room rental permit (Vergunning kamerverhuur) is required to live with 3 or more students.  

Please note that in both cases (if you are a group of students or working professionals) a Housing permit HVV may be required. This housing permit is only necessary if you want to live in specific areas of Rotterdam. But rest assured, we will guide you through this process. On our other blog post here you can find out more information about the housing permit HVV.

Room rental permit (Vergunning kamerverhuur)

If you are a group of 3 or more housemates who are students, then applying for a room rental permit is necessary. This permit is only applicable to students.

This permit can be granted under the condition that:  

  • Each person is a student, meaning you have to be enrolled in the (applied) university in the current academic year. 
  • In the opinion of the council, the occupancy of rooms does not harm the residential environment and the quality of life in the neighborhood.
  • the living space is located at least 50 meters away from another living space for which a permit for room occupancy has already been granted. 
  • the living space has at least 18 m² of usable surface area on average per person.
  • No permit for room occupancy has been withdrawn in the past 24 months for the home for which you are applying for the permit.


If all the conditions are met, then your landlord can apply for the permit. From your side, a valid passport and a copy of proof of enrollment at your educational institution is needed.

It takes from 2 to 8 weeks for a decision to be taken by the municipality after the application is submitted. From our professional experience, this period can also be considerably shorter. Please note that the 3rd and 4th housemate can only be added to the apartment once the permit has been granted by the municipality. The Citylifer will give the initial tenants a price reduction during the application period for the permit. 

Living group (Woongroep)

If you would like to live in a household with 3 or more people and most of you are working professionals, then you must live together as a living group (Woongroep). It is important to mention that this is only applicable if the entire group are working professionals. Students cannot form a living group.

Your household must support a sustainable and communal lifestyle. Sustainability means that the resident’s relationship will be tested against social sustainability measures. In this case, it will be assessed by an inspector if the residents chose to live together because of their existing relationship or only because they needed a room in Rotterdam. The first case is required as the municipality wants residents who have chosen to live together for a longer period of time and not just for a short period of time. 

A communal lifestyle means that all residents occupy the house, and the costs are also shared by all. This entails that:

  • No parts of the house should be used individually, except for the bedrooms
  • The bedrooms should have no locks
  • The house contains one shared kitchen
  • The house contains one suitable shared living room
  • The household costs are shared


Therefore, for a living group, no permit or registration is needed.

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