Frequently Asked Questions


Answers to any questions you might have. Parker & Williams wants to inform you as good as possible, but you may still have questions. That’s why we have already answered the most frequently asked questions for you. Is the answer to your question not listed? Please contact us via the contact form or give us a call.

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Frequently Asked Rent Questions 
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Frequently Asked Questions (RENT)

What is it like to live in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a (bike) friendly, lively, international, young, colorful, ambitious and very social city. A great city to live in for students, starters, professionals and families.
How many expats do live in Amsterdam?
Currently about 862.965 people (and counting) are living in Amsterdam with 180 different nationalities. The number of expats is constantly changing, approximately 130.000 expats are living in Amsterdam!
Can I rent an apartment in Amsterdam?
Absolutely! As long as you have a visa, permit or residence you will be able to rent an apartment.
How do people get around in Amsterdam?
By bike! With the fantastic bike paths, it is possible to cycle throughout Amsterdam and arrive in the desired location within minutes. Popular as well are the tram and subway. Cars are rarely used due to finding a parking space is very difficult in the city center.
What is typical Dutch?
Wooden clumps, tulips, bikes, stroopwafels, bitterballen, canals, Kingsday (27th of April), bikes, windmills, cheese and of course Delfts blue. Experience the Dutch customs yourself during your stay!
What is typical for Amsterdam?
Bikes, canals, Rijksmuseum, The Gay Pride Parade, Anne Frank House, ‘Over the Edge’ (Europe’s highest swing), red light district, coffeeshops, Artis, diamonds, Ajax, houseboats and many more to explore by yourself!
What are the different districts in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is spread over 8 city districts, each with its own characteristic neighborhoods. Amsterdam-Centrum, Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam-Westpoort, Amsterdam-West, Amsterdam Nieuw-West, Amsterdam-Zuid, Amsterdam-Oost and Amsterdam-Zuidoost.
What are the different districts known for in Amsterdam?
Currently we are creating a monthly blog about the several neighborhoods within the districts with all inside information, check it out!
Can we buy a house immediately after arriving in Amsterdam?
Yes, you can. You need a Dutch address and a secure job to apply for a mortgage. Buying a house can take a variable amount of time though. The time it takes to secure your home varies according to multiple factors such as the market at the time of your arrival - and of course your specific requirements, wishes, and personal financial situation. You will need a mortgage initially - and applying for this can take some weeks. The following processes after you have been granted your mortgage will take at least another few weeks. Surveyors, Notaries, Valuators and other services are involved. Working with these partners can take time, so we would recommend at least securing a temporary housing contract for between 3 months - 1 year, to make sure that you give yourself ample room to breathe during the process.
***What is the rental market in Amsterdam like?
The Amsterdam rental market is made up of the social housing sector (60%) and the liberated housing sector (40%). The social housing sector is only accessible if you've been living and registered in Amsterdam for at least 10+ years. This leaves the liberated housing sector. Due to this divide, the supply doesn't always match the demand which creates a very dynamic and ever changing housing market. At the moment it is a landlords market for the lower budget apartments because there's more competition but it is a renters market for apartments above the €2.000 mark. Apartments can be on the market ranging from 2 working days for the popular low budget apartments to weeks and sometimes even months for the more high end ones.
Municipality tax
In The Netherlands, the tenant of a property will have to pay “municipality taxes” for the water levy and the waste charges. On a yearly basis the total charges are about € 350 to € 450 euro.
Pets
It is important to mention in advance if you have pets to avoid disappointments. As pets are not allowed in all properties but by knowing it, we can focus on finding the right property for you and your pet. Usually when you have a pet, the deposit is set to 2 months’ rent and sometimes a special pet clause can be added to the rental agreement.
What are the rental prices in Amsterdam like?
The difference in price depends on the location and the facilities of the apartment. Whether the apartment is furnished or not. Rental prices vary from €1.600,00 till €4.000,00 per month. Please note that most monthly prices are excluding utilities!
***What is a 'free sector' apartment?
A free sector apartment is an apartment that has passed the liberated rental threshold. The threshold is based on a point system and currently is 143 points. The size of the apartment, energy label, location, value, spaces and other things all stand for a certain amount of points. All points added up give the amount of points for the apartment. By passing the threshold the landlord is free to decide what the rental price of the apartment is.
How long will it take on average to be housed in an apartment in Amsterdam?
Depending on your preferences you can find an apartment between 1-3 weeks. Most apartments only come online 4-6 weeks before they are available for rent. Don’t start your search too early to avoid disappointment!
What is a diplomatic clause?
A diplomatic clause was initially used for landlords who wishes to live in their apartment themselves after the rental period has expired. Nowadays this clause can be added in the rental contracts to give tenants the option to terminate the lease prematurely. The diplomatic clause will mention that the tenant can only terminate when he or she is fired, resigns or is relocated at least 75 kilometers from their current residence.
Can I terminate my contract after 6 months?
This is only possible if you have a contract up to 2 years (model B). With this arrangement you are able to terminate your contract with one calendar months’ notice at any time. Always check what type of contract you have before signing!
How often can the landlord increase the rent?
1. The rental price is adjusted annually based on the consumer price index monthly prize draw according to the consumer price index (CPI), series all households, in the most recent time basis, published by the Central Bureau of statistics (CBS), for the first time, one year after the effective date A landlord may increase the rent once every 12 months. Most landlords increase the rent every year on the 1st of July. The landlord must inform the tenant in writing at least 1 month in advance that the rent is going up.
What is the difference between a temporary and permanent contract?
The difference between a temporary contract and an indefinite contract is the end date. Temporary contracts have a specified end date whereas indefinite contracts have not. After the temporary contract ends, action is required from the landlord in order to extend the lease. If a temporary contract gets extended, it will automatically turn into an indefinite contract. An indefinite contract does not end unless the tenant terminates. With an indefinite contract, the landlord does have the right to set a minimum term. During this minimum period the tenant cannot terminate the lease.
Can I terminate my temporary contract?
If your temporary contract is up to 2 years you have the right to terminate with one month’s notice.
Are there apartments to share?
There are certain apartments available for home sharers. However, an apartment may not be shared with more than 2 people in total. This is because of the required permits.
What is a contract under the 'leegstandswet'?
A landlord can apply for a permit to rent out his home under the 'leegstandswet'. This permit gives the landlord the right to rent out their home without the tenant building up tenant rights. The end date is therefore a set end date and the landlord can extend a temporary contract without it become an indefinite contract. There is a limit of 5 years that a landlord can rent using this type of contract and generally sells his apartment after this period.
Are all lease contracts written in Dutch?
Of course not! The contract can be drawn up in both Dutch and English so that the contract can be read by both parties. Which we find very important.
When is an agreement binding?
If an offer in writing is specified (price, start date, terms etc.) and is accepted by the receiving party both parties have come to an agreement that is legally binding, this includes agreements made via email. Verbal agreements are not binding.
Do I have to pay municipality taxes?
When you register your address with the municipality you will be charged municipality taxes. Municipality taxes are taxes for the usage of the public systems like the sewage, water, drainage, garbage systems. There are two different categories for the taxes. The single household category which adds up to €477,00 per year and the multiple person household which is about €680,00 per year.
Can the landlord access the apartment without my permission?
The landlord is not allowed to enter the apartment without permission. The landlord has to request permission from you every time for access to the apartment.
Can the landlord evict me?
No, you have rights as a tenant. Landlords can't simply terminate a rental contract with you unless it expires or you're breaking the contract yourself.
What happens to my deposit after the lease term?
The landlord will return the deposit within 2 months to you after the check-out minus any costs for repairs or damages.
Who pays for maintenance of an apartment? The landlord or the tenant?
Depending on the terms and conditions that you have signed for, you have responsibilities as a tenant. Minor repairs will be your responsibility whereas major repairs are the responsibility of the landlord.
Will Parker & Williams set up my gas, electricity and water bills for me?
If you prefer to let us arrange the gas, electricity and water, that is certainly possible. This will be discussed during the check in of the apartment.
Will Parker & Williams set up my city tax payments for me?
This is something that we unfortunately can't do. As soon as you register at the municipality you will automatically enter the system that manages this. You will receive mail (the green envelope) regarding this.
What do I need to earn to rent an apartment?
Some landlords require a gross salary minimum of 2-3 times the monthly rent. In case you don't have this, proof of savings or a guarantee is sometimes sufficient.
Where can I find apartments?
On our website www.parkerwilliams.nl and on www.pararius.nl and www.funda.nl are the two best search engines for rental properties.
What does %22including%22 and %22excluding%22 mean?
When talking about including and excluding we are talking about the costs for the utilities. Most apartments you will find online are offered excluding utilities unless specifically mentioned.
What does shell/unfurnished/semi-furnished/furnished mean?
A shell is an apartment without a floor and sometimes essential kitchen equipment. Unfurnished means there's a floor and kitchen in the apartment. Semi-furnished is an unfurnished apartment with very basic furniture (like a sofa and bed), please note that this option is very uncommon. Furnished means you only have to bring your suitcase because it's fully furnished and equipped.
Is there a minimum rental period?
A minimum rental period can only apply in an indefinite contract and is under the landlord’s discretion.
How much on average will gas, water, and electricity bills amount to?
Depending on how big your apartment is and how much water, energy, and gas you're using, utility expenses will add up to €200-250 per month. On average you'll pay the following amounts for internet/tv (€50,00 - €60,00); water (€20,00 - €30,00); gas (€50,00 - €80,00); and electricity (€30,00 - €50,00).
What are the estimated costs of city taxes per year in Amsterdam?
For a single person household, you will be charged about €500,00 per year for municipality taxes. For a multiple person household, you will pay around €750,00 per year.
Will I incur extra costs if renting a furnished apartment, in comparison to an unfurnished apartment?
The difference in price depends on how luxurious the furniture is. Take into account that you'll spend around a €100,00 - €300,00 extra for a furnished apartment.
How much will a landlord most commonly ask for a deposit?
The deposit can range from 1 months for an unfurnished apartment to 2 months for a furnished apartment. In case you don't meet some other criteria from the landlord they can charge up to 3 months.
How does the process of extending my rental contract, after the first year of a rental, work?
If you would like to extend your rental contract first check if you have signed for a temporary or indefinite contract. In case of the latter you don't need to do anything, if no party terminates it will run until the tenant terminates the contract. In case of a temporary contract you should inform the landlord that you would like to stay longer. Please do this at least one month before the expiration of your lease contract. Together with the landlord you can then decide to continue the lease.
Are my landlord’s furnishings already insured against theft/damage?
The landlord is responsible for taking out insurance of his own goods (content), and the house (fire & theft). You are responsible to take out content insurance for your own belongings.
Can I offer a 'bank guarantee' instead of a deposit? And how does it work?
Most landlords request a cash deposit, though you can always ask if they are ok with a bank guarantee. A bank guarantee is used with some bigger real estate owners and project developers, so it is not unheard of.
What do the terms lessor and lessee mean?
Lessor stands for Landlord where Lessee means Tenant.
What will I need to bring for a contract signing?
Sometimes agents require a copy of your passport, a screenshot of the payment of the rent and deposit.
Is it possible to delay payment of the deposit? Or to pay the deposit in instalments?
Most of the time the agent/landlord requires the deposit to be paid in full before the lease starts. This is something you can always request though in case you're having trouble with getting the total amount ready before the lease.
What are the benefits of working with Parker & Williams?
We also work and communicate in the English language. We are specialized in apartments for rent for expats.

Frequently Asked Questions (BUY)

Does Parker & Williams help with renting out properties?
We are always looking for new homes that we can present to our clients. Our business focuses on finding properties for our current clients, so we won't proactively help you rent out your home. We do however share new apartments with our clients to see if there's a match. Therefore, feel free to send us your photos and description.
What is a mortgage?
A Mortgage is a long-term loan borrowed from a mortgage provider (a bank or pension fund), this is used to make payments on a property. You will pay off the mortgage (plus interest) in monthly instalments. Make sure you keep up with your mortgage repayments, otherwise the mortgage lender has the option of taking possession of the property and selling it on an execution sale.
What different types of mortgages are there?
In the Netherlands we have two main mortgages, the Annuity mortgage and Linear mortgage. With the Annuity mortgage, if you have a fixed interest on the loan, your repayments will remain the same, but the ratio of interest to capital changes. With the Annuity mortgage, if you have a fixed interest on the loan, your repayments will remain the same, but the ratio of interest to capital changes.
How much can I borrow?
As a rule of thumb, you can calculate max 5 times your gross annual income, however this is dependent on several factors, if you have other financial commitments and loans, they will consider this into your calculation. The bank also wants to know what the property value is before offering you the loan, to ensure you don’t over borrow. In 2018 they will lend to a limit of 100% of the property value. This number will go down by 1% per year for the next 4 years.
What are the interest rates at the moment?
The interest rates differ with the type of mortgage you are acquiring. Your mortgage broker will know more about the different types of rates, though as of time of writing (May 2018) the mortgages rates vary between 2,5% - 3,5%.
Are the prices listed on Funda the 'final prices'?
No - the listing price on Funda is the offer price. What this means, is that that is the initial offering. In the current Amsterdam market, people overbid by fairly high amounts.
Is it ever possible to purchase a home for below the asking price?
However rare, it is indeed also possible to underbid. Your agent will look at the value of the property and base your offer on it instead of the offer price. What are buyers’ costs? Buyers cost consist of all the costs that are incurred in the process of securing a property. These costs can add up to 6% of your purchase price and consist of things like transfer tax (2%), notary costs, agency costs, cost for the valuator, surveyor and interpreter.
What will the exact process be when buying an apartment in Amsterdam?
First, we will put you in touch with a mortgage broker, and mortgage adviser to make sure you know what you can borrow and spend on the market. The next step is the housing search. Funda.nl has most if not all properties that come on the market, so we will start the search together. We will schedule viewings based on your feedback and accompany you to them. When you have shown interest in a property we will do area and property research to advice you as best as possible. We will then draft the offer and help with the negotiations. After having your offer accepted, we will arrange for a valuator, technical inspector and notary. We will accompany you to all meetings, review the contracts together, and make sure the property is handed over to you in a good condition.
Can we buy a house immediately after arriving in Amsterdam?
Yes, you can. You need a Dutch address and a secure job to apply for a mortgage. Buying a house can take a variable amount of time though. The time it takes to secure your home varies according to multiple factors such as the market at the time of your arrival - and of course your specific requirements, wishes, and personal financial situation. You will need a mortgage initially - and applying for this can take some weeks. The following processes after you have been granted your mortgage will take at least another few weeks. Surveyors, Notaries, Valuators and other services are involved. Working with these partners can take time, so we would recommend at least securing a temporary housing contract for between 3 months - 1 year, to make sure that you give yourself ample room to breathe during the process.
Do I need to have a Dutch bank account to obtain a mortgage in Amsterdam?
You have to have a Dutch home address and pay taxes in the Netherlands, register at the city hall (Gemeente) and receive a BSN number in order to open up a Dutch bank account. You will be unable to obtain a mortgage without a private address (not a temporary company address). Depending on how much you earn or if you have any debts, the mortgage provider will grant you a certain amount.
What are the extra costs I can expect when buying a home?
We advise you to keep in mind that you can expect extra costs of approximately 6% on op of the final sale price of your home. These are called the buyers costs and are explained above.
Once my offer/bid is accepted, will the landlord work with me exclusively? Is the home 'secured'?
Most likely, the landlord and agent will move forward with your offer. The deal however is only finalized once the provisional purchase contract has been signed (please note this is not the case if you buy a property through a company).
Will I be penalized for breaking a rental lease agreement early, when I purchase a home and no longer need to rent?
When looking to buy a home, we recommend obtaining a temporary rental apartment (with a flexible 1 month notice period from the start date of the lease) first. As soon as you get a temporary or 'fixed term' contract, you can break the lease with just one calendar month of notice. This is the best option if you are looking to buy, as it gives you relative flexibility. Temporary contracts can be agreed for any period of time - for example 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or even 2 years. This model of contract also gives you flexibility in the event that you have an offer rejected, for example - or for example, if the renovation work you are pressing to complete before you move in to your new home is delayed. It is good to be aware that you will not be granted a mortgage whilst registered at a company address. If you have an initial period specified in your rental agreement (for example one year initial with the possibility to extend indefinitely thereafter), then you will recive a financial penalty for breaking the lease early. The penalties vary per lease agreement.
How can I tell if there is a serious issue with a house that I am considering purchasing?
For this very reason, we advise you to pay for a technical inspection of the house prior to purchase. We will set an appointment up with a trusted Dutch technical inspection firm. Some things are not visible to an untrained eye!
How can I find out the exact value of a property?
It is difficult to determine the exact value of a property according to its features and sqM. We will do our due diligence, look at properties sold in the past and can give you an indication of what the property is worth. We furthermore work with great partners who will take on the valuation process with care. What does it mean when a notary does an investigation on the land registry? The notary is involved in the legal process of the transaction and will therefore do research on several things before registering the mortgage deed and purchase/handover contract.
Can I rent my property when it’s mortgaged?
You must obtain written permission from your mortgage provider, but as a rule of thumb this can't be done without permission. This is because it weakens the mortgage lenders position in a foreclosure situation.
What are the benefits of working with Parker & Williams?
We also work and communicate in the English language. We are specialized in apartments for rent for expats.
Does Parker & Williams also support with selling and buying properties?
Yes, we do. Feel free to reach out to us via our buying page on our website

Contact

Parker & Williams

The door of our office, in the beautiful Oud-Zuid next to the Vondelpark, is always open and we make great coffee. Don't get left with questions and get expert advice from our certified brokers.

Address
Parker & Williams Real Estate Services
Van Eeghenlaan 1
1071 EL, Amsterdam

Telephone number  
+31 20 675 02 02

E-mail address
info@parkerwilliams.nl

KvK/ BTW
Chamber of Commerce: 73384372
VAT number: NL 8595.02.193.B.01

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