FAQ’s: Housing in The Netherlands and Supported Home Find by EMG

I am looking for suitable housing in the Netherlands, how do you approach this?

Finding suitable housing in the Netherlands is probably one of the most important and time-consuming aspects of relocating here. We all have different requirements and preferences when searching for a property, and our comfort is dependent on finding the right fit. EMG can also be a partner for you when it comes to finding rental accommodation.

What is the current housing situation in the Netherlands

Finding affordable rental housing in the Netherlands, and especially in the bigger cities, can be downright frustrating at the moment. The shortage of rental properties in the private housing market is very much noticeable. Rental housing prices have been increasing for quite a while now. The effects from the Corona situations are unknown at this stage. EMG can streamline this process and help you with finding the best place for you!

Agencies vs the Internet, what is your vision?

The internet can give a good idea of the current housing supply in the Netherlands. However, we advise not to rely blindly on this medium. There are, of course, several trustworthy housing websites out there. However, housing websites can post unavailable properties or even illegal properties. One important tip: When it seems too good to be true, it usually is! Renting an illegal property may have severe consequences, such as sudden eviction and financial fines. So, be careful and don’t shy away from asking for advice from locals. When renting via a housing agency administration costs/fees are involved but in our opinion, a reasonable price for security. Another option is to hire an agent to search the entire market on your behalf. In this case, a full commission is applicable. We also advise not to pay any amount when asked as a form a “registration fee” or to be able to qualify for a specific property. Also do not send your personal details, e.g. passports and/or employment contract etc. to an unknown agent or website simply because they “need” it. Of course, once the negotiations start or when the rental agreement needs to be drawn up, the agent/landlord needs to have your personal details.

Home Finding Assistance: how does that work?

EMG can handle your home find via our desktop housing tool (RelocationOnline). We will also assign one of our housing consultants to your home search. This consultant knows the market and has a broad network of real estate agents and brokers that can be contacted. Based on your budget, requirements and preferences, we will provide you with professional advice, set up a home viewing or a tour of viewings. Also, we will accompany you on tour (if agreed upon). EMG will negotiate the rental conditions, screen the contract and coordinate the move-in.

What are the legal aspects of renting a house?

Rental contracts in the Netherlands are drawn up in Dutch. Most housing agencies also provide a translation of the lease but keep in mind that this service is not provided by all agencies. Nevertheless, the Dutch version is the legally binding version and the one that will need to be signed by the lessor and the lessee.

In addition to the tenancy agreement, you will often receive the general terms and conditions that accompany the tenancy agreement from the estate agent or property manager working on behalf of the landlord. In apartments, you may also get a further set of regulations from the tenant’’s association. You should make sure you fully understand the implications of all three, particularly with regards to pets, notice periods and any costs or fees.

The purpose of the rental agreement is to set out the terms and conditions agreed by the tenant and landlord. It states the amount of the monthly agreed-upon rent and the length of the agreed period of the rental agreement.

A tenancy agreement is either for a fixed or an indefinite period. A contract with a fixed period states the end date of the deal. The agreement cannot be cancelled before this date unless both parties agree. A fixed-period agreement does not end automatically on the final date stated. Both the tenant and the landlord must terminate the agreement using a written notice sent by registered mail. Otherwise, the contract continues automatically into an indefinite rental period. After the first fixed period, under Dutch rental law, the tenant has the right to terminate the lease providing one calendar month notice. In practice, it is difficult for a landlord to evict a tenant without a good reason and a court mandate, as Dutch rental law is very protective of the tenant’s rights. If your stay in the Netherlands is at risk of ending suddenly or unpredictable during the first fixed period you may wish to add a break clause. It is also called a diplomatic clause. EMG can assist you in ensuring that these kinds of clauses are included in the rental agreement by being involved during the negotiation process. 

What is a diplomatic clause in the rental agreement?

A diplomatic clause allows to terminate the lease before its expiry at a fixed time (or times) or upon the occurrence of a specified event(s). These events, in general, are focused on employment. For example, you need to relocate to another part of the country (more than 50 KM away) or another country. Or you need to return to your home country for a job-related event. In these cases, you can get out of a contract. Most of the times one will only have to pay 2 months rent. Of course, proof must be provided in order to be able to appeal to this clause.

I am bringing pets, is that possible?

That is possible, but It will limit your options, especially when you are renting a fully furnished and furbished property. Note that the Dutch are fond of animals but bringing cats/dogs can limit your possibilities, so be aware of this.

Pets such as cats and dogs need to be approved by the landlord or owner. Most apartments/properties have regulations that do not allow any pets and many landlords are reluctant to accept them. Most owners if they do accepts pets, will require that you have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the lease agreement. It will be written into the rental agreement.

Property found, what is next?

Found your new home? It’s time to move in! It is important to make sure that the move-in is well coordinated and documentation is in place. We can be there for you during these final steps of the housing process by providing the following services:

– Move in inspection

Right after the signing of the contract, a move in inspection will be arranged by EMG. One of your local consultants will describe the status of the property and check the appliances. All notes are combined in an extensive report and photos will illustrate the current condition of the property. This report is very important at the end of the lease period. With this proof, negotiations about the return of the deposit will be less time consuming and will have a better result.

– Hook up utilities

Gas, water, electricity, television, telephone and internet connections are set up during the move-in.

Want to know more about the unique advantages of partnering with EMG? Contact us or let us contact you!