Patrick (Paddy) Loftus is of Dutch-Irish descent and is third generation managing directors of this ...
What to consider when buying to let in the Netherlands05 April 2016, by Patrick Loftus
Renthouse International was founded in 1968 and is the longest serving rental and purchasing agency in the expat market. They assist clients with the pre-rental, rental and post-rental phases of relocation.
Although renting a property for your temporary stay in the Netherlands has its advantages, an increasing number of expats are considering buying a property.
Not only is this currently a financially attractive option, but it can also be a sound investment for the future.
Owning property in the Netherlands
The current housing market and flexible mortgage options are drawing expats towards the banks. But what happens when their secondment to the Netherlands comes to an end?
Selling the property is one option. This would free up capital for any future move, but will the property sell in time? Can it be sold under conditions you would be happy with?
Another option is to rent out your property. The investment continues to bear fruit as you move on to a new challenge elsewhere.
There are a number of things that should be taken into consideration when choosing property for a long-term investment.
In financial terms, a sound investment is when the rental income exceeds the monthly expenditures. Then you need to think about whom you want to rent the property to, and of course expats are the most logical choice.
Not only is it a familiar cultural group in a sense, but they generally have above-average incomes due to tax breaks. They are also expected to leave once their secondment to the Netherlands comes to an end.
In the Netherlands there are strict rules that protect all tenants, Dutch and internationals alike. It is also known to favour the tenant’s rights above those of a landlord.
In short, once a tenant is in, it is extremely difficult to terminate the rental agreement unless there are significant grounds, and the law has made these grounds very limited.
Things to consider
When thinking about investing in a house or apartment to rent out, choosing a property to buy becomes both much harder and more interesting.
Choosing a home for you and others
It is not merely a matter of choosing a property that is good for you and your family. It is just as important that the property is suitable for the future expat market.
Will it rent out quickly and for a good price? Your property will go from being a home to being a product.
Your house or apartment will need to compete with other properties on the market, and it's a good idea to offer it fully furnished. Most expats will often only come with their personal belongings and the rest is expected to be there, right down to the garlic press.
First impressions matter
Interior design may become an issue as your favourite animal print, Star Wars themes or just too masculine a taste may put off potential tenants. When viewing properties for rent, expats typically spend only 10-15 minutes before moving on to the next one on the list. So first impressions are essential.
Being a landlord
An important matter to think about is who will manage your property and who the tenant can turn to. Large companies demand that their employees can seek support locally if any issues should arise in the rented property. In turn this requires a representative of the landlord to be present in the Netherlands at all times.
What if a water pipe breaks? What if your mail isn’t forwarded and notices start piling up? What if your tenant doesn’t behave or pay as they should? These are all examples of a wide range of issues that may arise in a landlord’s absence.
If you do not want to be an active landlord or are stationed abroad, there are plenty of agencies today that offer property management for you. They offer different packages and prices, so it's worth getting quotes from a few different places to get a good idea of what your options are.
With rental prices in the so-called "free sector" expected to rise further, buying to let can be an attractive proposition. It can be a lucrative investment, but make sure you educate yourself about the details and challenges before becoming a landlord!
Are you considering buying a property in the Netherlands that you will rent out once you leave?
Renthouse International is a rental and purchasing agency for the expat market and they will assist you with any questions you have. Their team of experts are friendly, multilingual and client-focused.