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Use Your Common Sense
Finding a rental property can be a stressful affair and sometimes can result in tenants forgetting to use their common sense. If you are a house hunter ready to take action on the rental property market, here are a number of good advice to follow.
Check who owns the rental property
If the property you are about to rent is rented out by a private person make sure that the landlord actually has the right to rent it out. Ask the landlord to to show photo identification in the form of a driver's license or passport. Also note if there's a different name than the owner's on the door and note if the name in the hallway is different from the name on the door of the apartment/rental property.
Always view the rental property
Always view the rental property before signing the lease or transferring money to the landlord. Is that possible consider carefully if the rental property is real or if there are other issues you must be alert of.
Check the rent level
Note that there are rules defining how large your rent can be. You can always get advice at your local rent council and they will be able to help you out in case of a rent level issue in court. At the same time always also remember to use your common sense and think twice if the rent seems too low.
Get everything in writing
Always make sure to get all agreements in writing. Verbal agreements can be difficult to prove in any disagreements with the landlord.
Document any defects
Always document the condition of the apartment by taking photos when moving in. If there are defects make sure to inform the landlord in written at the latest 14 days after taking over the lease. Request a confirmation from the landlord about defects. You could also send an email with photos to the landlord - make sure to save this. The photos can indicate that defects already existed the moment you moved in. This way, you won't be held liable when moving out again.
Note when subletting
Tenants on the Dutch rental market are protected by the rental law. But if you are about to rent a co-op or a sublet, be sure to ask for a written consent from the board of the co-op or the owner of the property. Also note that if the landlord himself is a tenant of the property, you will automatically become a subletter and thus you don't have the same protection under the Dutch rental law.
Make sure that the property is consistent with the rental contract
Note that the rental contract must be consistent with the property you are going to rent and is shown. If the landlord shows you a different property than the one you a supposed to rent, be hesitant with signing the rental contract and transferring money for the deposit.
Make sure to go through the property
Make sure that you review the property that you are to move in to, where you with the landlord present go through the property.
You have 14 days from taking over the lease to making any written oppositions regarding any defects. Take photos of the property when moving in, as these will help you document the condition of the property.
Never pay by cash
Never pay a cash amount at a property viewing or when signing a rental contract. Instead make sure that the amount to be paid is being transferred to a Dutch bank account. In that way you will always be able to proof that you have paid a deposit or prepaid rent. Don't pay anything before you are sure, who the landlord is and that all issues regarding the lease are ok.
Never pay via a foreign bank or money transfer service
Never pay a deposit or rent to a foreign bank account or a landlord you have not met. Never pay via online payment services og international wire transfer services where the transaction cannot be drawn back, e.g. Western Union.
Don't accept landlord pressure
Be alert if the landlord pressures you to sign a lease. Always use your common sense and never accept to be pressured into a tenancy. If the landlord tries to put pressure on you or if the conditions regarding the tenancy seems to good to be true, something is probably as they should be.
Don't be too critical
Especially in August and September the demand for rental properties is larger than the number of vacant properties. Therefore don't be too critical about the location of the properties etc. Most important for most part is to find a new place and when having that the search can be done in a less stressful period. Therefore use your common sense but don't be too critical in relation to what's available on the market.
Never pay money under the table
Never pay money without a receipt. It is illegal (money under the table) and legally you will not be able to get your money back.
Don't pay too much in deposit and prepaid rent
Note that there are no rules for maximum deposit and prepaid rent in the Netherlands. A reasonable deposit can be a maximum of 3 months rent, usage not included.
Be aware of non-Dutch speaking landlords
Be aware of landlords who do not speak Dutch or are located abroad. That might be a sign of frauds, who is trying to trick you to pay money for alleged deposits or the like.
Lejebolig.dk has blocked 14 ads the past 30 days.
At Lejebolig.dk we have two systems that minimizes the present of false landlords at our site. Firstly all ads are automatically scanned by a number of criteria, and secondly all ads are validated manually by an employee before they are published at the site. Therefore we are happy to be able to say that we are as close to false-landlord-free as possible. You can help to detect fraud since you inspect the property and meet the landlord. Remember to always use your common sense.
If you have other relevant advice to share, feel free to send us an email at email@example.com.