If you are not eligible for university owned accommodation or if you prefer to buy or rent your own property there are a few things to take into consideration. The Service Centre International Staff can help you as well.
Real estate agencies
When you want to buy or rent a house, you can enlist the services of a real estate agency. Real estate agencies charge a brokerage fee for their services. This usually is around 1-2% of a house’s purchase price or a fixed fee or percentage of the monthly rent in case of a rented house. Some agencies, specifically those specialised in rental properties, may charge a subscription fee.
Funda and Pararius offer an overview of houses for sale and rent in the Netherlands. Real estate agencies such as Rent2day, Direct Offer by DUWO, Room, Verra Real Estate, Tweelwonen, The Hague Real Estate, Rotsvast and Duinzigt also offer housing and relocation services for expats.
Foreigners can freely buy a house in The Netherlands, but there are a few pointers you should be aware of:
- the mortgage interest is tax-deductible in the Netherlands.
- the costs related to financing the house are also deductible.
- one-time buyers' expenses are approximately 6% of the purchasing price.
- buying a house comes with a deposit of around 10% of the purchase price, arranged through a bank guarantee issued by a Dutch banking institution. This deposit is arranged by the bank or mortgage broker and may be part of the financing agreement.
- home owners are also required to add the deemed rental value to their taxable income and, as a result, pay taxes over this value.
Depending on the landlord, rental houses are unfurnished (ongemeubileerd), semi-furnished (gestoffeerd) or furnished (gemeubileerd). A rental contract, usually translated to English, includes the following items:
- rent: payable one month in advance.
- deposit: a one-month's rent deposit is customary.
- annual adjustment of rent, based on increases in the cost of living.
- user costs that are not included in the rent (i.e. utilities, municipal levies, garden maintenance).
- diplomatic clause: the option to terminate the contract by giving two full months’ notice.
- clause stating that the occupant is responsible for yearly cleaning of central heating system, water boilers, chimney, gutters and draining pipes.
- obligation to return the property in the same condition as accepted at the end of the rental period.
A number of hotels in Leiden and The Hague offer a fixed price for employees of Leiden University. You will find more information on Hotels Leiden and Den Haag.