How to rent a house - The 8 most important steps

When you want to rent a house, it is important to stay focused on the search process from A to Z, until you find the ideal place that meets your needs. We have put together this guide about the 8 most important steps when you want to rent a house.
25. September 2023 | Author: Sara Petersen
How to rent a house - The 8 most important steps

When you want to rent a house, it is important to stay focused on the search process from A to Z, until you find the ideal place that meets your needs. We have put together this guide about the 8 most important steps when you want to rent a house.

If you are considering renting out your house, instead, you can see our guide to renting out a house.

Step 1: Define your needs, requirements, and preferences

Start the hunt for your future rental house by clarifying your precise needs and preferences. It is important to figure out what the right house for you is. Consider the following questions:

  • How would you like to live? Do you prefer a house with a large or small garden, more or fewer rooms, a basement, or maybe a garage?
  • How much value do you put on the location? Is it important for you to live close to nature, in a family-friendly area, or close to school, supermarket, or doctor?
  • How does the size and layout of the house fit your current and future needs?
  • Is proximity to public transport or good parking facilities crucial for you?
  • How long of a rental period are you considering?
  • What is your budget for rent? Remember to consider additional expenses like garden maintenance, snow removal, heating, water, etc.
  • Are there special facilities or features of the house that are important to you, such as a modern kitchen, multiple bathrooms, or maybe a workshop?
  • How do you prioritize factors like proximity to the water, a beautiful view, or a particular architectural style?
  • Do you have specific wishes or requirements for your new residence based on your lifestyle, such as a home office or space for pets?

Step 2: Search for a house for rent

Begin your search by looking on various platforms that list houses for rent. Use search filters to find houses that meet your specific needs and requirements regarding size, type, and location. Create a list of houses for rent that catch your interest and note the aspects that make each house interesting for you.

Here are some search methods you can consider:

  • Online portals: Use online portals like, which present you with a wide range of available houses in your preferred area. For example, search for a house for rent in all of Europe, house for rent in the Netherlands, house for rent in Germany, house for rent in Denmark, house for rent in Sweden, or house for rent in Norway. Adjust your search with respect to elements such as location, size, and price, so you can find the options that best fit your needs.
  • Local newspaper ads and bulletin boards: Keep an eye on local ads in newspapers and on bulletin boards in the area you are considering moving to. This can be a good opportunity to find attractive offers on houses for rent that meet your expectations and future plans.
  • Social media and networks: Inform your acquaintances that you are looking for a house to rent and ask them to help you with your search. Utilize social media to spread the message and to participate in various community groups that can help in finding the right house to rent. has established a number of different Facebook groups for housing seekers, which you are welcome to use.

Step 3: Visit and evaluate the houses you have found

Once you have identified some promising houses for rent, it is time to arrange viewings. During the visits, you should evaluate the houses based on your established criteria and note the pros and cons of each house. Pay special attention to the following aspects, which are often more prominent when renting a house:

  • Does the location suit the needs and lifestyles of you and any cohabitants? Consider the extra space, garden, or proximity to nature that a house often offers.
  • Is there adequate space, both indoors and outdoors? Consider whether the size of the house and its surroundings harmonize with your lifestyle and the needs of the family.
  • Are there good parking and transport options for you and your guests? Also, consider storage options and any additional facilities like a garage or shed.

Step 4: Negotiating the lease contract

Once you have found your potential dream house, it's time to negotiate the lease contract. It is essential that you examine all terms carefully – including rent, deposit, maintenance of both house and garden, and notice periods - so that both parties are satisfied with the agreement. Ensure that all agreements and conditions are clearly stated in the contract to avoid potential future misunderstandings. It is especially important to clarify responsibilities for maintaining the garden and any other outdoor areas, interior maintenance, and replacement of appliances when they break down, etc.

Step 5: Pay deposit and sign lease contract

The next step, once you have found the house you want to rent, is to pay the agreed deposit and sign the lease contract. Review the contract carefully to ensure that all relevant points are included before signing. It is a good idea to seek advice from a legally competent person to review the lease contract.

Step 6: Moving and setting up your new house

Now it's time to move in and start setting up your new house. Make a detailed plan for the moving process and the setup of the house, including potential areas like the garden and any other outdoor areas. Remember to report your move to all relevant authorities. Moving into a new house and getting everything in place is a big task. Therefore, we have prepared these guides which we hope can help you in the process: 12 steps to furnish your house - Create a home that complements your lifestyle and Moving into a house checklist.

Step 7: Start everyday life in your new house

After the move, it's time to begin your new everyday life in the house. Take your time to acclimate to your new home, and gradually start exploring the neighborhood and its facilities. Invite your new neighbors for coffee, and arrange a big housewarming party where you can introduce your family, friends, and acquaintances to your new house.

Step 8: Maintain a good relationship with your landlord

A good relationship with your landlord is fundamental, especially when renting a house. Communicate openly about any maintenance tasks, which can often be more numerous and extensive in a house compared to an apartment, and make sure to adhere to the agreements and rules set out in the lease contract. Always pay your rent on time to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings and to maintain a good relationship with your landlord.

Frequently asked questions