How to find accommodation in the Netherlands? Find, in this article, some tips to help you proceed in your search.
If you have decided to settle in the Netherlands, finding accommodation will be one of your major concerns. You can start your accommodation search right from your home country with the help of general and specialized websites. You can hence have an idea of the different types of accommodation available in the country as well as on the cities which are more conducive to expatriation.
In fact, most Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, etc., have a wide range of accommodation options. However, prices will vary from one region to another. Consider registering with a real estate agency if you are already on the spot. This could greatly facilitate your accommodation search in the country, especially if you do not have a good knowledge of Dutch.
Types of accommodation
The country hosts a range of housing units for all tastes, namely studios, apartments, houses, villas, etc. Flat or room sharing is also a common practice in the Netherlands. As regard students, they may either opt for sharing or for dormitories. You are advised to start you accommodation search well in advance.
Rent prices in the Netherlands have considerably increased during recent years. However, these are subject to control so as to avoid abuse by landlords and real estate agencies. In general, rent prices are determined in terms of points and square kilometers. These also depend on the comfort level and facilities which are attached thereto. Thus, the rent price will largely depend on the number of points.
You are also required to pay a deposit, which will be equal to a month's rent. In case you have chosen a furnished apartment, you will have to pay a deposit which is equal to two months’ rent. This deposit can either be reimbursed at the end of the lease term or used as payment for the last occupation month.
The lease document should include the lease terms, as well as an inventory of all item provided in the housing unit: dishes, furniture, linens, household appliances, etc. You are advised to verify these in the owner's presence, as well as the state of the housing unit. As regards other charges such as electricity and gas bills, you can share these with the owner.
Good to know:
You will have to produce a proof of income such as your latest pay slip to the owner. In case of students, they will need a letter from their higher studies institute.
In general, if you wish to purchase property in the Netherlands you will proceed as follows:
- identify a property individually or via a real estate agency
- visit the property alone or accompanied by your real estate agent
- make an official offer to the owner in English or Dutch. This document should mention your name, address, telephone number as well as basic information pertaining to the property which you intend to buy, the proposed price, the date on which you wish to proceed with the transaction, and all related conditions (validity, expertise, loans, etc.)
- negotiate with the owner. Note that the latter is not allowed to negotiate with another buyer once he has accepted your offer
- establish the sales contract (koopakte) which should include the notary's name (you can choose any, except if you are purchasing a new property), your passport and personal information
- sign the sales contract with the owner's real estate agent
- carry out an inventory on the premises (with the owner's approval)
- taking a bank loan if necessary. In this case, the inventory becomes mandatory, as required by the bank so as to determine if the price refers to the property's real value
- the notary will prepare the deed documents (leveringsakte) and mortgage (hypoteekakte) for the bank loan
- proceed with the transfer. You will revisit the property with the keys in hands, sign two sales documents before the notary in former owner's and real estate agent's presence.
Strolling around different neighborhoods will probably help you determine where you would prefer to settle in the Netherlands. You can also consider networking with people who have already settled there. You will hence have a better idea of areas which are more popular and suitable for expatriates. Note, however, that you are more likely to find cheaper accommodation in lower quality neighborhoods (poor safety and accessibility, etc.).
Expat-Blog - Housing offers
NVM - Association of Real Estate Agencies www.nvm.nl
Kamer – Colocation www.kamer.nl