By handling over this factsheet Haagen & Partners hopes to provide you with some useful information on the rights and obligations of a Lessee concerning a rental agreement. Consider this as an advice from Haagen & Partners to you. In order to avoid confusion when reading the rights and obligations below, please note that “Lessor” refers to the landlord and “Lessee” refers to the renter.
One of the most exciting and fairly time consuming aspects of an international move is finding a new place where you can feel at home. Please note the information below to avoid disappointment.
Most rental agencies are “fishing out of the same pool” and offer the same property listings. Some do have clientele of their own, but all agencies should have access to one another’s properties. Therefore it is not much use to go to all rental agencies, but it is sufficient to contact only one or two of them. You need to inform them if you are working with another agency as well. In this way you can avoid double work and avoid scheduling multiple viewings for the same property. Most agencies do not work during weekends or evenings, therefore house hunting will most likely be scheduled on weekdays. We suggest you start the house search as soon as you arrive. The agencies charge a commission by percentage or a fixed fee equal to one month’s rent for their services.
Often the agencies are only able to show five to seven available properties in certain price ranges.
Due to the resulting shortage of rental properties, the Dutch housing market is very competitive and foreign transferees are generally amazed by the high prices of rentals. There is a housing shortage in particular in Amsterdam, ‘t Gooi and the “Randstad” areas.
In certain price classes there is not much available and a lack of choice. On average, rental fees in Amsterdam begin at around
€ 1.250, – per month depending on the size and location of the accommodation. However, it is not unusual in some areas to pay up to an amount of € 5.000,- a month.
Protected property: Dutch housing for the most part is controlled by “woningbouw corporations” or “building associations”, who manage, for the most part, the less-expensive properties. There is a great deal of competition to bid on getting these properties, with long waiting lists. To take these properties into consideration you have to register with these corporations or at the municipality where you want to live. In order to be able to rent from a housing corporation you must meet certain eligibility criteria. The expatriate client does not meet the criteria for these “social-housing” units. So do not be misled that you can easily rent an apartment for a very inexpensive amount. Often times they have been on waiting lists for a number of years or meet certain criteria, such as a lower-income.
Subletting is illegal, and since all properties are “registered” in the Netherlands, should you attempt to sublet illegally (onderverhuur), you will not be able to register at the Town Hall and the Foreign Police, which will impact not only your residence permit, but also the permission to import and deliver your personal effects by your moving company. Generally if the Lessor will not give you a legal contract with a diplomatic clause or request “cash payments” only, it may indicate that this is not a rental arrangement you want to be involved in.
Important: if you decide to share an accommodation with a colleague, do make sure that both of your names appear on the lease contract. This is for your own protection: in case e.g. your “roommate” decides to leave or is transferred, you will still have the right to stay in the apartment. And in order to register at the City Register, you will need to show proof (viz. the original, signed rental contract) that you are living at that address.
In the Netherlands a rental contract is only legal in Dutch language, so make sure you always sign and receive a copy in Dutch as well. Haagen & Partners screens the contract for you before it is signed. This way we can be certain it is legal, and that a diplomatic clause (see below) is included in the event you need to move unexpectedly either outside of the Netherlands or beyond a specified radius within the country. Likewise, the rental agreement price, deposit and commission , can be checked and verified. Should you have any questions or encounter any unusual difficulties during your home search, please contact Haagen & Partners. We advise you to obtain a rental contract with the following clause, known as the “diplomatic clause”.
Diplomatic clause: Both Lessor and Lessee shall have the right to terminate the agreement at any time before the expiration of the tenancy:
a) in the event that Lessor’s place of work is transferred to a location less than 50 kilometres from the rented property; b) in the event that Lessee’s place of work is transferred to a location more than 50 kilometres from the rented property. In such event the notice of termination shall be given:
- by registered letter or writ
- before the first day of a calendar month,
- subject to a period of notice of at least two calendar months.
The termination of a lease contract must be made by registered letter. Haagen & Partners can help you with the preparation of the official registered letter to the landlord.
The state of the property at the commencement of the rental period shall be recorded in a dated inspection report. If applicable, a record shall also be made of the inventory. If for whatever reason, an inspection report is not drawn up, the Lessee shall notify the Lessor in writing of any additional deficiencies he has observed regarding the property. within eight days of the commencement of the rental period, in the absence of which the Lessee shall be assumed to have taken on the property in good order and without visible deficiencies.
Within three weeks after the check-in, the tenant shall notify the lessor of any defects or malfunction.
The tenant is not permitted without the prior written consent of the landlord:
- to fully or partially subletting the leased property or allowing its use by others
- to use the rental property for anything other than residential purposes
- installing an antenna or satellite dish for radio and television reception on the grounds
- to keep pets in the rented property.
- in, on or on the leased property changes and/or additions
- (If applicable) to change or replace the carpeting and furniture present in the rented property or to take them outside the rented property;
The Lessee will be responsible at his expense for minor repairs, including every day and preventive maintenance.
Garden maintanance is also for the Lessee.
Lessee shall be liable for any damage due to negligence, improper use of the facilities by family or guests or damage caused by pets. Lessee shall take any necessary steps to prevent or minimize damage to the rented property, the garden and the adjoining premises, including measures to prevent damage attributable to weather conditions or influences thereof.
Lessee is obliged to inform Lessor of any damage, defect or malfunction occurring or threatening to occur in or to the property. In case of an emergency Lessee should contact the property manager or Lessor immediately.
If any defect or malfunction is not duly reported, Lessee shall be liable for any resulting damage or loss and the subsequent costs incurred to repair or replace the damages. In the event that the caretaker or Lessor cannot be reached, the housing agency or ICG should be contacted.
Compensation to be paid to the real estate agent/housing agency as payment for intermediary services in securing the property and contract. The fee is equal to one month’s rent.
In addition to the first month’s rent after signing your lease agreement, you will be expected to pay a deposit (or bank guarantee). This serves as a guarantee to the owner to recoup the costs against possible damage to the property. If there are no damages, your deposit will be refunded to you. This must take place, by law, within three months of your having vacated the property. The deposit may never be used as a last month ‘s payment or for other financial obligations. No interest is paid over the deposit.
In Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem or Utrecht, it is necessary to apply for a parking permit. Being registered at Town Hall often gives you the right to apply for a parking permit (at a relatively low price). Keep in mind that there is often a long waiting list, (four years) especially for the center areas of the cities. You could consider renting parking space in a garage (different options are available to you; from renting per week up to per quarter). Parking permits do not automatically come with the rented property.
Note: Parking fines are hefty
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is correct. However all prices are subject to change. No rights or obligations may be derived from any published monetary amount. All prices are given for reference purposes and as an indication only and Haagen & Partners cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information included.
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