I'm about to move to the Netherlands, and looking at apartments/rooms I see that registration is not possible for some listings.

From what I read, every resident is required to register at the municipality within 5 days of moving to the Netherlands, but is there any repercussion to doing so after a month or two?

My plan is to look for a temporary place to live (e.g. Airbnb, where most people don't allow registration), and then move to a more long term place, where I would be able to register.

4 Answers 4


There are a whole lot of things linked to this registration from taxes to parking permits. I am not sure if registration is strictly speaking necessary to obtain a “citizen number” but that's the regular way to get one for expats coming into the country for the first time. You need this number for tax and health insurance purposes so any employer will demand one. This is likely to be the first choking point. However, if you don't work (yet), I guess you might get away with staying a few weeks without registering but if discovered you would be liable for a €325 fine. I don't know if they really impose the maximum fine for a few days over the delay but while the Dutch bureaucracy is generally professional and efficient, I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Note that people who don't allow registration are most likely illegally subletting a place they don't own themselves or somehow trying to go around some other legislation.

  • 2
    Many of them may be illegally renting a place they do own, because they are not complying with the strict regulations controlling the rental market.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 13:04

When I moved to msterdam (in 2015) it took me a month and a half to find a place to stay. I only went to the Expat Center (at the World Trade Center near Station Zuid, where I actually properly registered, got my BSN number etc.) sometime after the first week I think. When I got there I told them the truth - "I'm looking for an apartment to rent" - and gave them my workplace address. Then I went there again after I got a place.

So although I'm not sure about the official situation, in practice the authorities obviously realize that you can't be expected to find permanent accommodation immediately.

To sum up:

  • Your plan is probably ok.
  • Showing up to register vs reporting a permanent address - two separate things.
  • Try to have a temporary address to report.

Most of the properties on AirBnB are not a place to live but only a place to stay temporarily while on holidays.

These AirBnB landlords may not allow registration for various reasons. Most common would be:

  1. They're subletting a rented property without permision of their landlord.

  2. They do not want their tenant to benefit from the strict tenant protection laws in the Netherlands (if you have an official tenant and they do not want to vacate the place, it's really hard and painful to evict them).


You can use your employer address temporarily for obtaining the BSN number.

I managed to live during 18 months registered at my employer's addres (as my landlord didn't allow registration). By the time I was already leaving, I indeed got a nice and polite email stating that my provided address was not a residential one.

I simply deregistered when I left but they certainly have people checking and eventually, you will be caught if you do not register or register in a place hwere you actually, don't live.

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