9 kooky things about renting in the Netherlands

Discovering a spot to lease is difficult sufficient wherever you’re, however in search of someplace to reside abroad can really feel like a frightening job. 

In terms of renting within the Netherlands there are a lot of forms of lodging to select from, regardless of the continuing housing scarcity. Whether or not you wish to lease a studio, reside in a comfortable shared flat, or be part of within the enjoyable of an enormous scholar home, there’s something for nearly everybody within the Netherlands. 

Nevertheless, there are some actually odd Dutch traditions and surprising admin distinctive to the Dutch renting tradition. 

Whether or not you’re signed as much as 20 Fb teams, or are usually refreshing Kamernet, right here’s how you can put together for the tradition shock when looking for the proper rental within the Netherlands. 

Hospiteeravond: pace courting for housemates

people-gathered-around-a-table -in-the-living-room-in-the-Netherlands
Prepared ready to grill you. Picture: Daria Shevtsova/Pexels

Need to really feel insecure about how nicely you make a primary impression? Then a hospiteeravond is for you! Many cultures are used to the idea of an open home, however the Dutch take this to an entire new stage — only for discovering a brand new roommate! At a hospiteeravond, everybody within the room turns up with a stash of alcohol and tries to impress the present housemates — invitation solely, after all.

For those who’re courageous sufficient to indicate up, the hosts aren’t afraid to ask you some, um, fascinating questions. Don’t be stunned if you happen to get requested ‘What sort of street signal are you?’ or ‘For those who needed to be a fruit, which one would you be?’. Yep, it’s simply as awkward because it sounds. 

Only a word: Proper now many hospiteeravonds are being held nearly due to coronavirus, which is an fascinating expertise. No less than you possibly can meet the housemates from the consolation of your personal residence, and nobody can sway the tenants with an costly bottle of wine.

No internationals/Dutch talking solely

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Dutchies of their nationwide uniform. Picture: Shutterstock.com

So that you’ve discovered an awesome room in an exquisite flat inside your worth vary on Fb group. Nice! However a fast scroll down reveals the dreaded phrases: “No internationals” or “Dutch talking solely.” 

Let’s be sincere: labelling a submit with ‘No internationals’ is unique and will be perceived as a bit of xenophobic. In spite of everything, what if you happen to’re an expat that’s fluent in Dutch? The Dutch are formally the finest non-native English audio system on this planet, so that you suppose they wouldn’t thoughts switching languages over lunch.

Alternatively. it’s comprehensible that Dutch natives wish to converse their mom tongue in their very own residence. Moreover, the Dutch already concern the lack of their language within the wake of globalisation. 

Perhaps that is one other instance of the Dutch directness coming into follow. No less than you don’t waste your time responding to folks that can solely find yourself ghosting you. 👻  💁

Ongemeubileerd and kaal: naked as a child’s backside

When the Dutch say unfurnished, they imply unfurnished! Don’t be stunned if you happen to stroll into your new Dutch rental to seek out that it doesn’t have any curtains, floorboards, and even kitchen home equipment. 

Even if you happen to view the property with all these things, the present tenants could strip it again to its authentic state once they go away. Usually you possibly can come to an settlement and purchase any obligatory furnishing from the earlier tenant, however you’ll have to prepare this between yourselves. So if the lease sounds low-cost, test the small print!

Fast Dutch language information for renting bald

Dutch English What it means
Gemeubileerd Furnished Primary furnishings is included, and maybe another facilities (plates, pots, glasses, and many others.)
Ongemeubileerd Unfurnished Simply the condo, typically with flooring, curtains, lights current (however not at all times, so double-check!)
Gestoffeerd Upholstered Curtains, lights, and flooring, however no furnishings.
Kaal Bald No flooring, curtains, lights, or furnishings. Partitions could also be painted.

Antikraak: preserving squatters out

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Netflix and authorized squatting. Picture: Andrew Neel/Pexels

Seeking to lease for the quick time period and wouldn’t thoughts residing in a former financial institution or theatre? Antikraak might be the reply. It interprets to ‘anti-squatting’ and just about does what it says on the tin — stops folks from illegally squatting. The thought is you’re principally a authorized, tidy squatter, paying a diminished lease to maintain the water operating, and cease the property from being vandalised.

It isn’t the most suitable choice in case you are trying to lease for the long run, as they’ll boot you out with as little as two weeks discover. However there may be a variety of areas out there, from church buildings to workplace blocks and even unused faculties. 🏢

Strict guidelines on occupancy

For those who and your companion wish to lease a two-bed home, don’t financial institution on utilizing it as a facet hustle. Within the Netherlands, all residents are required to register at an tackle — and municipalities place strict limits on how many individuals can register at every property. 

That implies that even if you happen to lease a home that’s larger than you want, you possibly can’t (legally) lease out a room to a different scholar. Yep, there goes that vacation fund. 

Huurtoeslag: the Dutch authorities serving to to pay your lease

Generally it seems like there are loads of prices concerned in transferring to the Netherlands. From medical health insurance, registration charges, to having to pay for a checking account (it’s solely €0.01 a month, however I’m nonetheless bitter). However, due to the Dutch social care system, there may be assist on the market for these on a good finances — even together with your lease.

Huurtoeslag is a Dutch housing profit and is out there to anybody on a low earnings. There are some particular standards however even expats are eligible for the allowance! Good to know the Dutch authorities’s obtained your again! You will discover out in case you are eligible on the federal government tax web site: Belastingdienst

Company charges: what am I paying for?

There are execs and cons to utilizing actual property companies to discover a place to remain within the Netherlands. To begin, you’re much less prone to be vetted by the present housemates in a dreaded hospiteeravond. Nevertheless, you usually must pay an company charge — earlier than you discover a home that you simply wish to apply for.

These charges are required so that you can view the property and might vary from lower than €50 for an entire 12 months, to a couple hundred. The legality of it is a gray space, however that doesn’t cease companies from charging no matter they like.

The one exception to loopy Dutch actual property company charges is a sleutelgeld. It is a fee separate from the deposit often known as a “key charge.” It might be worded within the contract as a charge to “launch your key” or as a “takeover charge”. That is unlawful. When you’ve got been requested to pay this by an agent, landlord or tenant, you will get free authorized recommendation from companies equivalent to !Woon or Juridisch Loket. Query any fees that aren’t clearly defined. Know your rights! 

Scammers

In a super world, everybody can be sincere, respectable, and never attempt to rip-off you. Sadly, there are these on the market who attempt to benefit from your determined want for a Dutch home (thanks housing disaster). Rental scammers are particularly widespread within the Netherlands. There are scammers hiding in each nook and cranny of Fb rental listings, however paid web sites like Kamernet and Pararius additionally aren’t immune. 

Listed here are some onerous and quick guidelines to keep away from getting scammed. 

  • Don’t signal a contract earlier than you will have seen the property, in individual or nearly. 
  • NEVER give over a deposit earlier than signing a contract and (ideally) receiving the keys.
  • Be suspicious of everybody — however particularly those that refuse to provide you a tour of the property.
In regular occasions I’d say “don’t signal a contract earlier than you’ve seen the home,” however some companies or landlords could have stopped in-person excursions resulting from coronavirus. Try to push for a viewing in individual. Most companies will nonetheless do these, however will ask you to put on a masks and preserve social distancing if you are there. 

Rental deposits (and landlords preserving them)

Deposits are the bane of a renter’s life. Generally it seems like a bit of cash you’ll by no means see because it bounces from one landlord to the following. However deposits can come at a very hefty worth within the Netherlands. There isn’t a cap on how a lot a landlord or rental company can ask for. It may be some huge cash, typically as a lot as three months’ lease. You certain as hell need that again! 

The Dutch are recognized for being frugal, which suggests landlords within the Netherlands will be exceptionally stingy relating to returning your extortionate deposit. In concept it shouldn’t be onerous to get your deposit again, however some landlords like to tug their toes. They can’t hold your deposit for basic put on and tear, however don’t anticipate to get it again if you happen to’ve punched a gap within the wall. 

READ MORE: Rental deposits within the Netherlands: how you can get your money again

Have you ever skilled any of those Dutch quirks to renting? Or obtained any recommendations on discovering a home within the Netherlands? Tell us within the feedback beneath!

Characteristic Picture: Karolina Grabows/Pexels

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