Most internationals don’t have knowledge of the rights and duties regarding renting a house/apartment. There are rules regarding what a reasonable rent is, the level of service costs and what is reasonable to ask for use of furniture. Landlords and housing agencies often abuse this lack of knowledge and charge much more than allowed.
The most common problems are:
- The rent is too high
- The service costs are too high and/or there is no balance at the end of the year
- The costs for furniture are too high
- The rental contract is temporary, which is usually not allowed
- The housing agency requests service fees which is not allowed
- The landlord/housing agency charges key fee (sleutelgeld)
- Deposit expenses are too high
- The price for buying movable items from the previous tenant (overnamekosten) is too high or the departing tenant charges something for fixed masonry and carpentry work such as a shower, central heating, modern kitchen
What you can do
All legislation regarding housing applies to all people living in the Netherlands, regardless if you are a local or an expat.
If you think your landlord or a housing agency charges too much, it is best to get legal help. Free legal help is available at the Juridisch Loket, www hetjl.nl (Dutch only) or call 0900- 8020.
In Amsterdam you can also contact iWoon, http://www.wooninfo.nl/english/