Housing in the Netherlands

Housing in the Netherlands can be quite difficult to find, particularly in Amsterdam where the market is very tight. Whether you decide to buy or rent a house in the Netherlands, both have important legal and financial consequences.  For that reason it is very important to understand the contract you are entering into before signing it. 

Renting a house in the Netherlands

There are various parties active in the housing market that offer rental apartments in the Netherlands. There are some offices which charge so-called “agency fees” or “commission costs”. Such costs are only legit when the real estate agent is not working for the landlord at the same time, and has actually searched actively for an apartment for you, has found something you like and has sealed the deal. Such costs cannot be charged when you found the apartment yourself on the agents’ website. The same goes for other (hidden) costs, such as “contract costs” and “registration costs”. Under circumstances it is possible to get these costs back after having paid them to an agency (until 5 years later). Our lawyers are specialized in property law and contract law and can assist you with this. Contact us directly to discuss the possibilities. If you need any recommendations on trustworthy agents, also feel free to get in touch with us.

Getting your deposit back

When renting a house in the Netherlands, in 99,9% of the cases the landlord will ask you to transfer a deposit of one month rent. This is absolutely normal. It is however very important to make sure you understand the contractual arrangements regarding the deposit and that these arrangements are drawn down clearly in the contract. For example, it is important to include in the contract in which situations the deposit can be withheld, and when it will be refunded to you. Our lawyers are happy to advise on the rental procedure, review your rental agreement and answer any questions regarding rentals you may have.

Dutch law has strict legislation for tenants and landlords. Some landlords tend to ignore these rules. In cities like Amsterdam, where there are a lot of expats, the situation can occur that real estate agents abuse the situation that an expat moves to another country at the end of the rental period. We receive a lot of complaints about landlords and/or agents who never repay the deposit to their tenants, or withhold a large amount without any good reason. This can be very frustrating for tenants, especially when they have already moved to another country. Our lawyers see these kind of problems often, and can help you get your deposit back. Are you in such situation that the landlord or the agency refuses to return the deposit? Or is a high amount of your deposit being withheld without any reason? Contact us directly.

Buying a house in the Netherlands

If you are staying in the Netherlands for a longer period, for example 4 to 5 years, it can be more beneficial to buy than to rent a property. When you choose to buy a house in the Netherlands, it is important to be aware of the costs that are added to the purchase price. The costs are around 6% on top of the purchase price and are built up as follows:

  • 2% transfer tax;
  • Notarial fees;
  • Bank fees;
  • Estate agent; and
  • Evaluation costs.

If you want to sell your property later on, you (at least) want to cover these costs. Depending on the location and the market conditions, this can take some time.

It is good to know that in the Netherlands there are tax deductions for home owners. As a home owner, you can deduct the interest payments on the mortgage. You can also deduct the expenses related to closing the mortgage. Our lawyers are happy to advise on the deductible taxes and to assist with filing your taxes.

When buying a house in Amsterdam, the purchase agreement will need to be drawn down by and signed at the notary. This is only the case in Amsterdam. After signing the purchase agreement, you have three days to reconsider your purchase. Within these three days, you can still cancel the agreement in writing. It is important to do this in the correct manner.

Purchasing a house and getting a mortgage are important financial and legal obligations. Make sure you read an understand the legal documents carefully and you know your rights as a buyer (or seller). Our lawyers are happy to assist you with any questions regarding housing you may have. Please feel free to get in touch with us.