Residents of Holland, especially the expats at some point of time, must have found it increasingly difficult to find a suitable and reasonable apartment in the country. A list of guidelines particularly for expats wanting to rent an apartment in Holland is crucial so that they will not have to face complications with the landlords and end up paying an excess amount of rent. The Dutch laws have been framed to safeguard the interests of the tenants. However, some expats seem ignorant of these rules and regulations.
Renting versus buying an apartment in Holland is a common problem faced by expats when they arrive here. Before making your decision, you need to take into consideration a lot of factors, which includes your plan on the duration of stay in the country. The housing market in Holland is marked by depressed owner occupancy and the largest social housing segment in the whole of Europe. Unless your firm provides you with an apartment, or your friends assist you in finding something, it is recommended to take the help of a trustworthy rental agency. A good agent will be able to let you know everything you want to know on the market, price and quality of housing including the restrictions. He can also assist you in drawing up arrangements for your visits and also in the negotiation process with landlords. It is also possible for these agents to provide you with a contract in English.
Apartments in Holland
The rules and regulations for renting of apartments in Holland will vary based on where you reside. Hence it is necessary for you to have a better understanding of the terms of the rental contract. Quite often expats have a tendency to compare rental prices of Holland apartments with those in their natives. They find a monthly rent of EUR 800, or a little high for an apartment with two or three rooms quite reasonable. This is why all the rental agencies of Holland love expats so much. These ignorant expats have no idea on the laws in the region and some of them are of the view that such laws are only applicable to locals or to apartments that are part of the city council.
The laws in Holland aim to safeguard the interests of the tenant. Once you take a decision to rent an apartment, which can be made either verbally or through a written agreement, it (agreement) can only be brought to a close by the tenant and not by the landlord. However, in certain cases like the tenant not being able to pay the rent may lead the landlord to initiate a court case against him. Contracts that indicate ‘temporary’ or ‘one-year lease’ will not come to an end on reaching the expiry date. A temporary contract is permitted in exceptional and specific cases. A tenant should be aware of the fact that a landlord just cannot charge what he feels like. There is a maximum limit of the rent for an apartment, which is accessed by using point systems. Points are awarded for every square meter along with the facilities available in the apartment. The total number of points is equal to a certain rent which is the maximum for the particular apartment. The rents faced by expats sometimes are considerably high but Huurteams can let you know if the amount is fair enough. They calculate the number of points of your apartment and then evaluate the maximum rent you need to pay.
If you end up paying more than the rent based on the point system, you will have your rent lessened by the Huurcommissie. This is similar to a civil court dealing purely with housing rental matters. It is not at all difficult to initiate a re-assessment and the costs for such a process are only about EUR 25. Your rent for an apartment in Holland cannot be reduced only in two situations. The first is if the number of point of your apartment exceeds 141. In such a case the apartment is a part of the ‘free sector’ and the rent is not governed by the point system. Also if the rent for your apartment is more than EUR 652 per month, and you have paid the rent for six months, the rent cannot be lessened.