The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, with almost 400 people per square kilometer. Due the limited amount of space, houses at the lower and middle end of the market tend to be fairly compact out of necessity. The property market is very competitive and the number of available houses changes almost daily. Be aware that you must pay approximately between 250-350 euro’s (excluding 19% VAT) to the real estate agent as a mediation fee. So, wherever you come from, it is essential to realize that the available housing will probably not be the same as you have experienced before!
Types of properties:
- Fully furnished (gemeubileerd) properties are provided with complete furniture, floor covering, curtains, kitchen and bathroom appliances and often linen and towels.
- Partly furnished (gestoffeerd) accommodations are provided with floor covering, curtains, light fixtures and most of the kitchen and bathroom appliances.
- Unfurnished (kaal) accommodations are delivered empty with no floor covering, no curtains or any appliances. Such accommodations are usually much cheaper but require initial investment from the tenant.
- Serviced apartments are accommodations fully equipped and furnished offering extra facilities as TV and internet connections, housekeeping and sometimes laundry facility and health club. Rates are all-in including basic rent, rent for furniture/equipment, utilities and cleaning services. Serviced apartments are usually meant for short-term residence (1 week to 6 months).
Short-term Rental versus long-term rental
After your arrival in the Netherlands, you need to register with the local municipality. Therefore it is important to check with the landlord of each property you are interested in, if he/she will allow you to register at the address of the property.
You will have to pay 1 month rent and the deposit in full in advance (before your arrival through bank transfer).
Short term rentals
Short-stay accommodations are suitable for internationals arriving in the Netherlands and wishing first to explore the city before deciding where they want to live with their family. Most internationals settle in the Randstad, which is the name for the areas that encompass Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Other parts of the country, like Eindhoven and Maastricht, also have large expat-communities. Only in these cities you will be able to find short-term rentals.
Long term rentals
In general, the minimum rental period for a long-term rental is one year, but sometimes a shorter let is possible. Rent is due before the first of the month, and you pay it either directly to your landlord or to an agency that operates between you and the landlord. Legally, the length of time required to terminate your contract is equal to the regular time period for which you pay your rent. When you sign the lease on a property, you must pay 1 or 2 month’s rent in advance as a deposit. This amount is refunded if the house is in a satisfactory condition at the end of your stay. Sometimes, landlords asks for a two month deposit.
Social housing versus private sector
There are two markets for rental properties in the Netherlands: the private rental market and the social housing market. Social dwellings are allocated by housing associations on the base of eligibility criteria (among others: a maximum yearly taxable income of the entire household up to 34,085 euro and registration period on the waiting lists). Taking into account these criteria and average waiting time (often exceeding 3-4 years), social housing is not an option for internationals. In the private sector, properties are rented out by private persons and commercial companies. The rent usually excludes user’s costs, i.e. utilities, municipal taxes and other extra costs.
Average rental costs are 750 euro’s (statistically) but the average rental costs include social housing. As we have seen before, as a highly skilled migrant you will not qualify for these dwellings. The price ranges that are mentioned below are the average rental costs in the private sector.
|Type of accommodations||Rental price per month|
|Studio apartment||€450 – €800||€700 – €1,000|
|One/two – bedroom apartment||€900 – €1,200||€900 – €1,750|
|Three-bedroom row house||€1,000 – €1,500||€1,500 – €2,500|
|Semi-detached house||€3,000 – €4.500|
Be aware that:
- You will arrive in the Netherlands approximately one week before your first working day. Dutch employers require that their new employees are registered at the municipality in order to apply for the social security number (BSN-nummer). Without this registration (based on your rental contract) the BSN will not be issued.
- As a consequence, your rental contact will either start the 1st or the 15th of the month prior to your arrival. From the moment your rental contract has started, you are required to pay rent.
- Furthermore, after signing your contact, you should pay the deposit and the mediation fee of the real estate agent.
- Conclusion: you will spent about 3000 euro’s on housing even before your arrival in the Netherlands!
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