Housing in Holland
FINDING A HOUSE
There is a considerable variety of properties to choose from, although much depends on the area where you want to live, the living space needed and your budget. There is a good choice of rental properties in the so-called Randstad area, in the western part of the country, where most international companies are based (Amsterdam, The Hague/Wassenaar, Rotterdam and Utrecht). One can find a house for sale or for rent via advertisements in the newspapers, on notice boards at the women’s clubs, international schools or churches, or by driving around and looking out for the signs saying Te Koop (for sale) or sometimes Te Huur (for rent). But the best way to explore the market is by looking at Internet sites such as www.funda.nl (in Amsterdam www.mva.nl), or www.jaap.nl, or www.zah.nl.
Though you can go a long way on your own with the help of the Internet, it still remains advisable to contact an agent for the actual house-search and negotiation phase. Most expatriates have never lived in the Netherlands and are therefore not familiar with the price ranges, local contracts, ‘invisible’ obligations, laws and customs. Using an agent, even though this is more expensive, will help you get a good impression of the living area, speed up the search for suitable accommodation, and get a better deal on the property. Another advantage to using an agent is that they have access to a computerized multiple-listing system which keeps them completely up-to-date on properties available in their district. More on the real estate agent further on.
YOU HAVE DECIDED TO BUY
Fixtures and Fittings
The purchase price excludes furniture, carpets, curtains, light fixtures and sometimes kitchen appliances. You must reach a clear agreement with the seller on which goods are included in the purchase.
The deposit on the house is generally 10% of the purchase price – to be paid by the buyer a few days after the deal has been made – and can be replaced by a bank guarantee issued by a Dutch banking institution.
If you need to obtain a mortgage to finance the purchase, any purchase agreement should be made subject to financing. Other possible resolutive conditions could regard being able to obtain a permit to occupy the real estate, or the option of having a constructional survey carried out.
Prices and conditions quoted are usually negotiable. Your agent and the seller’s agent will negotiate in close consultation with you and the seller.
The costs of purchasing a house in the Netherlands amount to approximately 10% of the price of the house (this is not the same as the 10% down payment!). These expenses include, among others appraisal costs, notary costs, administrative fees and transfer tax. Several of these are tax-deductible and can be declared on your income tax return.
Transfer of Ownership
The verbal agreement is put in writing in the purchase deed (voorlopige koopakte) which is sent to the civil-law notary who will deal with the conveyancing. Note: a three-day ‘cooling-off’ period starts the day after you receive a copy of the signed contract. During this time, you can cancel the deal without any repercussions and without having to state the reason.
The transfer of ownership takes place at the civil-law notary’s office by means of a deed of transfer to be drawn up by the notary and to be signed by you, the seller, and the notary.
The notary takes care of the financial settlement of the transaction and ensures that the deed of transfer is entered in the public registers (Land Registry). The transfer is then official and you are given the keys of your new house.
YOU HAVE DECIDED TO RENT
Types of Rental Properties
Different combinations are possible:
• Unfurnished (Ongemeubileerd). This offers the barest of necessities – namely, empty.
• Semi-furnished (Gestoffeerd). Semi-furnished contains some furnishings and carpeting, and possibly a few appliances.
• Furnished (Gemeubileerd). The apartment is ready to be moved into. Ask for a complete inventory list before agreeing to anything. Utilities are (usually) included.
The Rental Contract
Many rental contracts have been especially designed to meet the needs of expatriates, and include an English translation. Among others, rental contract usually includes the following items, plus clauses on responsibility for repairs:
• rent: payable one month in advance
• a deposit: usually one month; sometimes 2 or 3-months
• user’s costs, usually not included in the rent; utilities, municipal levies and garden maintenance.
In connection with repairs, you should do a thorough walk-through of the house or apartment, verifying damages and the need for repairs and improvements – and who will be responsible for arranging and paying for these – before you sign on the dotted line.
A diplomatic clause can be included in the rental contract to ensure that, even though the rental agreement may not have expired, the property can be vacated after a notification term mutually agreed upon in advance. For instance, should the lessor be relocated to the Netherlands and need his property for personal use again, or should you be relocated to another country.
A word of warning: a verbal contract is binding under Dutch law. Therefore, unless you are absolutely sure you will take the property, do not make any verbal commitment!
You are handed the keys to the property after the contracts have been signed and the rent and deposit have been paid to the account of the agent. An inspection report and check/inventory list is filled out regarding the condition of the house, furniture, inventory, fixtures and fittings, exterior and garden. This is signed by both parties.
Terminating the Rental Contract
You inform (remind) your landlord well in advance as to when the contract for your apartment will expire and when you will be leaving. You do this by way of a registered letter. Note!: If you do not specifically stipulate in writing that you will be leaving after one year, the contract undergoes a stilzwijgende verlenging or silent continuance. You will be liable for a full year of rental fees and will at the very least forfeit your deposit if you move out anyway!
Before leaving, a check-out is done based on the checklist made when moving in. If all is found to be satisfactory and all bills have been paid, your deposit will be paid back within three months. If necessary, the costs of restoring the rental property back to the required state will be deducted from the deposit in accordance with the bills provided by the landlord.
Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment
Ministerie van Volkshuisvesting, Ruimtelijke Ordening en Milieubeheer: www.vrom.nl/international
Nederlandse Vereniging van Makelaars, NVM
Dutch Association of Real Estate Brokers: www.nvm.nl
Dutch Housing Association
Vereniging Eigen Huis: www.eigenhuis.nl
Consumentenbond - Consumer Society: www.consumentenbond.nl
KNB, Koninklijke Notariële Beroepsorganisatie – Royal Dutch Notaries: www.notaris.nl
Dutch Customs, Douane Nederland: www.douane.nl
Tax and Customs Administration
Steenvoordelaan 370, 2284 EH Rijswijk
P.O. Box 3080, 2280 GB Rijswijk
Tel.: 070 372 49 05
Housing in Holland – 2.0
By Connie Moser
Published by XPat Media
A book especially developed in order to guide the English-speaking foreigner through the process involved in renting or purchasing a house in Holland.
Internet: www.hollandbooks.nl – www.housinginholland.nl
General House Hunting Websites
Real Estate Agents Portals
http://makelaars.overzicht.nl : all listings for the Netherlands
www.makelaar.lokaalzoeken.nl : search for a listing of local agents
www.makelaars.net : real estate brokers portal
www.makelaars-nederland.nl : real estate brokers portal
www.mva.nl : Makelaars Vereniging Amsterdam
www.nvm.nl : Nederlandse Vereniging van Makelaars
Housing-/ Real Estate Agencies
Amstel Housing: www.amstelhousing.nl
Amsterdamse Maatschappij: www.amsterdamsemaatschappij.nl
Apartment Services: www.apartmentservices.nl
B & S Rentals: www.bnsrentalservice.nl
Be Home Rentals: www.behomerentals.nl
Beeuwkes Makelaardij: www.beeuwkes.nl
Boodtenhuis Housing Services: www.boodtenhuis.com
Bosch & Duyn: www.boschenduyn.nl
Burger van Leeuwen: www.bvl-residential.nl
Collage Vastgoed Adviseurs: www.collagevastgoed.nl
Comfort Housing: www.comforthousing.nl
Direct Wonen: www.directwonen.nl
Dutchhousing Centre: www.dutchhousing.nl
Estata Makelaars: www.estata.nl
Finsens Makelaardij: www.finsensmakelaardij.nl
G&D&Y Housing: www.gdyhousing.com
Haagen & Partners: www.haagen-partners.nl
Hakkenbroek Housing Company: www.hakkenbroekhousing.com
Holland Home Beheer & Verhuur: www.holland-home.nl
Home in Amsterdam: www.homeinamsterdam.com
Inter Agency Holland: www.interagency.nl
Just Housing: www.justhousing.nl
Kaai Makelaars: http://kaaimakelaars.nl
Kimmel & Co: www.kimmel.nl
Local Home: www.localhome.nl
Makelaars Associatie: www.makass.nl
Mie Lan Kok: www.mielankok.nl
Nelisse Makelaars: www.nelisse.nl
Perfect Housing: www.perfecthousing.nl
Plink Adviesgroep: www.plink.nl
Quality Rentals: www.qualityrentals.eu
Relocation Advisers: www.relocationadvisers.nl
Renthouse International: www.renthouse.nl
Rots-Vast Groep: www.rotsvast.nl
Stoit Groep: www.stoit.nl
Tettero & Wetters Makelaars: www.tettero-wetters.nl
TVN Real Estate: www.tvnsite.nl
Van Dorp Verhoog Makelaars: www.vandorpverhoog.nl
Van Paaschen Makelaardij: www.vanpaaschen.nl
Welp Makelaardij: www.welpmakelaardij.nl
Zeilstra Beheer: www.zeilstrabeheer.nl
MVGM Vastgoedmanagement, Breda
Tel.: 076 543 46 66
New Babylon Gallery
Bezuidenhoutseweg 63, The Hague
Tel.: 088 520 70 70
WaterFront - Scheveningen
Hellingweg The Hague
Real estate agent F. Dirken 06 290 603 65
Real estate agent R. Kuiper 06 543 750 75
Frisia Makelaars 070 342 01 01
Expat Houses: www.expathouses.nu
Hotel Residences: www.hotelresidences.nl
Htel Serviced Apartments: www.htel.nl
Rien vd Broeke Village: www.village.nl
Rotsvast Groep: www.rotsvast.nl
Van Leijenberghlaan, Amsterdam
STRADMEIJER makelaars-taxateurs o.z. 020-673 22 66
In-Lease Nederland B.V.
August Janssenweg 7
3742 RX Baarn
tel.: 035-542 66 95
fax 035-541 33 83
Mortgage Advice and Financial Loans
More on these subjects can be found in The Holland Handbook 2012 - 2013
© Copyright 2013 XPat Media