Rental accommodation in the Amsterdam Area
If you’re planning a short-term stay in Amsterdam (under five years), renting is your best bet. After all, contracts can be easily changed and you’re spared the effort of making major repairs or maintenance. Essentially, there are two rental markets in the Amsterdam Area: public housing (sociale huurwoningen) and the private sector.
Whichever you opt for, all rental dwellings are subject to the House Value Rating System (woningwaarderingsstelsel) whereby the quality of a house is awarded points for criteria including standards, size, facilities, energy efficiency rating and property value (up to 145 points). It is particularly useful for calculating whether the rental price is fair in proportion to the quality of your home. For more on the points system, see www.huurcommissie.nl (in Dutch). For all rental homes in the private sector awarded up to 145 points you require a housing permit (huisvestingsvergunning). As of 1 July 2016, the free housing sector begins at 146 points. In the free housing sector, no housing permit is required.
Buying a house or apartment in Amsterdam
If you’re planning a long-term stay in the city region, there are excellent monetary benefits that come with becoming a homeowner. Mortgage (hypotheek) interest payments are subject to tax deductions if the house is your primary residence, and even the notary (notaris) costs that go into the signing of the contract are tax deductible. Also, the advantage of having your employer either pay the rent or contribute to it is taxed as a benefit.
It’s important for everyone who buys or rents a home in the Netherlands to know their rights. What do you do if there is a conflict with your landlord? What are your rights if the house you are buying has hidden defects? For your guide to rights of tenants and homeowners, see our section on housing rights.