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Renting in the Netherlands: Hints & Tips

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Are you thinking of renting a house, apartment or room in the Netherlands? Here are some hints and tips that may come in handy!
 

  • If an agent asks you to sign a pre-contract agreement (usually in Dutch) in order to hold "a place in the queue," be sure that you really want to rent the house, otherwise you may be asked later to pay compensation, even if you are not interested anymore. The same applies to verbal contracts / deals, which are binding under Dutch law.
     
  • Do not pay more than three months' rent in advance and never in cash!
     
  • Apply to as many ads as possible, especially if you are a potential student.
     
  • Rental contracts are pro-tenant.
     
  • Usually, the best places are not advertised because landlords are looking for "recommended" tenants. Let all your colleagues, classmates, friends and family know that you are looking for a place.
     
  • Houses intended for expats usually come furnished. However, houses in the Netherlands are usually unfurnished.
     
  • Clarify if the rent includes any additional expenses (energy (gas and electricity), Internet, fixed phone line etc.) as these may be quite costly.
     
  • All decoration changes must be approved by the owner.
     
  • Inspect the property before signing the contract to be able to notify the landlord about pre-existing damages (e.g. heating system, radiator etc.).
     
  • Student housing must be vacated within six months of graduation. Therefore, taking additional courses may extend your stay, which may come in handy if you are looking for a job.
     
  • You must inform the landlord that you are moving out (if not specified, the notice period is one month), otherwise the contract may be automatically renewed (silent renewal).
     
  • Even if you are staying for six months, do not hesitate to sign a one-year contract. You can terminate it anytime you wish (provided you honour the notice period).
     
  • Always ask for a contract in English to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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