Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about expat housing in the Netherlands.

Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs?

When it comes to maintenance and repairs, both the tenant and the landlord have their own responsibilities to ensure that the rented accommodation is well-maintained and in good condition. In general, the tenant is responsible for minor repairs and the landlord is responsible for major repairs and maintenance. According to Dutch law, if something is classified as a ‘minor repair’, then it falls to the tenant to take care of it. The only exception to this is if the damage requiring the minor repair was in some way caused by the landlord failing to meet their own obligations, then the landlord should cover the cost.

Can I enforce a pet policy with my tenants?

When it comes to allowing pets in your rental property, it is important to be clear and upfront about your policies. As a landlord, you have the right to determine whether or not you want to allow pets in your property, and which types of pets are acceptable. It is recommended to have this clearly stated in your rental agreement to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings in the future.

Is there a maximum amount I can charge for rent?

The maximum rental price for a property in the Netherlands is determined by the scoring, or points system, also known as the "home valuation system". The points are awarded based on various factors such as energy efficiency, the WOZ value, size of the property (square footage) and Luxury fittings can also add value. Properties with 149 points or more fall into the "free sector", allowing the owner to determine the rental price without any government restrictions (unregulated). However, if the property has 149 points or less, it is considered in the social sector (regulated) and the government sets the maximum rental price, which is directly proportional to the number of points.

Is it mandatory to have an energy label, when renting out your property?

Yes, an energy label is mandatory for rental properties in the Netherlands, otherwise the landlord is at risk of being heavily  fined.It’s  important to keep in mind that the energy label score significantly  impacts on the number of points that a property can receive within the home valuation system. A higher energy label score can result in a higher maximum rent that a landlord can ask for on their property.

What items should I consider when writing a lease agreement?

In a Dutch rental contract, it is important to consider the following details:

The rental fee: This should specify the amount of rent to be paid and the payment frequency, typically one month in advance.
Security deposit: The security deposit, usually equivalent to one to three months of rent.
Rent adjustment: An annual rent adjustment clause based on the cost of living index as determined by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
Utilities and municipal charges: The contract should specify the utility and municipal charges to be paid by the tenant.
Diplomatic clause: A diplomatic clause, which allows for termination of the contract under specific circumstances.
Brokerage/ realtor fees: The brokerage or realtor fees, which are typically equivalent to one month's rent plus 21% VAT.
Minor repairs: A clause on minor repairs, specifying the responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord.
Maintenance of heating system and other equipment: A clause stating the responsibility for the yearly cleaning and maintenance of the heating system, water boilers, chimneys, gutters, and drain pipes.
Condition of the property: The contract should specify that the tenant is obligated to return the property in the same condition as it was rented, except for normal wear and tear. If this is not done, the tenant may forfeit part or all of the deposit.
Payment information: Information on how to make payments from a foreign bank account using the IBAN and BIC codes should be included in the contract.

There are a number of other items to consider, so please schedule a call with a Letting Consultant to ensure you’ve covered everything you need.

How can I find out the exact value of a property?

It is difficult to determine the exact value of a property according to its features and size. We will do our due diligence, look at properties sold in the past and can give you an indication of what the property is worth. We furthermore work with great partners who will take on the valuation process with care.

What are the interest rates at the moment?

The interest rates differ with the type of mortgage you are acquiring. Your mortgage broker will know more about the different types of rates, though as of time of writing (February 2022) the mortgage rates vary between 3% and 5%.

What are the buyer's costs (or purchasing costs) in the Netherlands?

Buyers' costs consist of all the costs that are incurred in the process of securing a property. These costs can add up to 5% of your purchase price and consist of things like transfer tax (2%), notary costs, agency costs, cost for the valuator, surveyor and interpreter.

What are the extra costs I can expect when buying a home?

We advise you to keep in mind that you can expect extra costs of approximately 5% on top of the final sale price of your home. These are called the buyer's costs and are explained above.

What different types of mortgages are there?

In the Netherlands we have two main mortgages, the Annuity mortgage and Linear mortgage. With the Annuity mortgage, if you have a fixed interest on the loan, your repayments will remain the same, but the ratio of interest to capital changes. With the Annuity mortgage, if you have a fixed interest on the loan, your repayments will remain the same, but the ratio of interest to capital changes.

What does shell/unfurnished/semi-furnished/furnished mean?

A shell is an apartment flooring, light bulbs, curtains etc. This is usually a newly developed property. Unfurnished/upholstered means the property has everything except for furniture. There's everything like flooring, curtains but without any furniture.  . Semi-furnished is an unfurnished apartment with very basic furniture (like a sofa and bed), please note that this option is very uncommon. Furnished means you only have to bring your suitcase because it's fully furnished and equipped.

Is there a limit to how many people I can share my apartment with?

Usually you can share your apartment with a total of 2 people. The municipality has initiated a rule that requires landlords to have a permit when they're looking to rent out their apartments to more than 2 people. This permit is scarcely available.

What is a diplomatic clause?

A diplomatic clause was initially used for landlords who were looking to return to their homes after a period of letting their home. Now it is also being put in rental contracts to give tenants the option to terminate the lease prematurely. Most diplomatic clauses will mention that the tenant can only terminate when he or she is fired, resigns or is relocated 75 km from their current working location.

Can I terminate my contract after 6 months?

If you have a temporary rental contract you have the right to terminate your lease with one calendar month notice. Please make sure that you have confirmed that your lease contract is a temporary contract.

What does "including" and "excluding" mean?

When talking about including and excluding we're talking about the costs for utilities. Most apartments you will find online are offered excluding utilities unless specifically mentioned.

Does EHN offer corporate housing services for international companies?

All our services are officially offered in English. That said, our international team consists of people with over 15 different nationalities so we can converse with you in many other languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and more!

What language(s) does the team at Expat Housing Network speak?

All our services are officially offered in English. That said, our international team consists of people with over 15 different nationalities so we can converse with you in many other languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and more!

Does EHN offer educational content about the Dutch Housing Market?

Yes we do! You can check out our Events Calendar where we offer free monthly webinars. We also regularly post video content our Youtube channel, as well as on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

If I work with EHN, who will I be working with?

If you decide to work with us, you will be provided with a Personal Housing Consultant who is dedicated your success in the Dutch Housing Market. This consultant will take full ownership of your experience with us, ensuring that you feel welcome and well informed from the start.

But of course, at EHN we work as a team, utilising our incredibly rich network of industry professionals. So you'll also have a team of people supporting you along your journey.  

Will EHN set up my gas, electricity and water bills for me?

After the key handover we will help you set up utilities like internet, gas, electricity and water.

Have more questions? Get in touch!

If you can't find the answer you are looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us.