More and more people are coming to live in the Netherlands. And why not ! It is a fabulous country. We understand that it is one of the most attractive places for businesses to operate in the EU. There is great infrastructure, an openness to foreign direct investment, a skilled and multi-lingual local work force and a fantastic work life balance. And don’t forget the great cuisine and I seriously mean that ! And the Dutch people, on the whole are fantastic. So lots of positives. We read recently that the population of Amsterdam will go over the 1 million mark in the near future. When this was announced the furore about it was, “Where is everyone going to live?”
Well for sure more new build will have to be built and come onto the market. That will take time. We recently had coffee with one a city architect and he said that the future of Amsterdam housing would be concentrated in Noord. That makes sense. Very easy to get across the Ij and there is so much land there that can be used. Amsterdam will be a city of two halves with a river in the middle, like Paris and London.
In the meantime however, the growing population will have to find somewhere to live. Not everyone has the budget or possibility to move here and buy a home, which means that many, if not most people, will be looking at renting. There are many different ways of renting a house or apartment in a Dutch city. Some are well organized by seasoned professionals. It’s what they do and so the whole operation is clear and there are no surprises. The other chances for renting a house are less clear, sometimes dodgy and at other times out and out scams. It can be a minefield out there and some people have lost money to crooks.
We wanted to find out the best practice do’s and don’ts from a home rentals service that has been helping expats find home in the Netherlands for over 15 years. Being better informed is always the best way to avoid the pitfalls and traps of the rental market. So we asked Sander Koops whose company Koops Makelaardij has been helping expats find the right rental home for them for over 15 years.
Q1. So Sander in your experience what should people looking for rental homes really avoid ?
If you, as an expat, have the feeling that a home is too good to be true, then you can assume that this home does not exist or is not available. There are rental brokers who propose a different property to you and if interested, they ask you to pay a commission of 1 months rent. This is against the Dutch rental law. What we see as well is that you have to pay brokers up front, before you even view a property. This is forbidden as well of course. It is best to contact an official broker. If you still want to respond directly to a property, take a good look at which broker you are dealing with.
Q2. What are expats typically looking for ?
From the moment you decide to move to the Netherlands a lot of things need to be dealt with. You need to arrange housing, banking affairs, schools, a general practitioner, sports clubs etc. Next to this you also need to complete things at home. The basis for your move is a good house, a house where you feel at home right away, in an area where all desired facilities are nearby. All expats have different preferences, but most expats are looking for a home with a fresh look-and-feel. Nicely furnished, modern bathroom and kitchen, located in a pleasant neighbourhood nearby public transport.
Q3. We see a lot of home rentals in Facebook groups. Some look too good to be true. Are they ?
Some facebooks groups are too good to be true. With a current housing market you see that many companies are starting initiatives to make money. Tenants are often the victims. Cheap properties are shown on Facebook and if you are interested you must first register to have a chance to get to visit the property. Know that there are many home seekers who want to pay a lot of money to have a chance to get a home. As an example, if I can offer a 2-bedroom apartment within the Amsterdam ring road for € 1000, then I have 300 candidates within 2 days. In my opinion, these offers are extremely rare or just too good to be true.
Q4. Tell us more about your new service.
Since January this year, Koops Makelaardij – Koops Rental Agency has been offering a new service: Koops Expat Services. For over 15 years, Koops Rental Agency has been active in the rental market and is housing about 50 expats per month. Searching for the right rental property in the area of Amsterdam and its surroundings is a lot easier when you have an experienced professional there to help you!
Q5. Please tell us more about what services your company provides to expats.
Koops Expat Services will help you find a rental home in the Netherlands matching your living requirements. We will take care of the entire process; scheduling an appointment to visit available rental properties, we will drive you to all the houses, we will inform you about each different neighbourhood and if you would like to rent one of the properties we will draw up a proposal and negotiate with the opposing party. When we reach an agreement, we will check the rental contract and we will help you with the financial handling. The day of the keys handover, we will draw up an inspection report and take pictures of the maintenance condition of the house.
We want to arrange this up front for you, so everything runs smoothly during the rental period or when you leave. During the rental period you can contact us for questions or advice.
Koops Expat Services supports you in the entire process so you can focus on your job and enjoy everything the city of Amsterdam has to offer!
Q6 You help expats in the greater Amsterdam area. You also operate in other cities in the Netherlands right?
Yes, our work area is Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Haarlem, Leiden and The Hague. you can find all our offices on our website.
If you want to read more about Koops Expat Services, you can do so here.
Thank you Sander for you answers.
You can see more about Koops on the link just above or call the team on 020 820 3676