Choosing a rental agency to help find you a new home can be challenging, especially in a new country with an unfamiliar housing market. At Perfect Housing we believe you should expect the following service from your agency. We also believe you should only pay for results.
1. Clear service offering, clear fee structure, credibility
Any agency should be able to tell you what their services are, how they work, whose interests they representent (the tenant's or the owner's), and what you will be asked to pay. In selecting an agency, do a little detective work of your own: do they have an office? are their materials available in English (at least), Dutch or any other language? do they have a credible website? how long have they been in business?
Knowledge of the rules relating to renting must be available. The Dutch market is highly regulated and, although it may be tempting to rent an illegal or subleted accommodation, you may find yourself paying the price later. Your agency should be able to explain market regulations, how the points system works and the implications for the types of property you will be able to rent. Be aware that there are many restrictions on cheaper apartments, including that you cannot earn more than a certain amount or that you must have an economic tie (economische binding) with the city in order to be allowed to rent a specific property.
2. Realistic expectation setting
Setting your expectations early will avoid surprise or disappointment later. A reputable agency should have in-depth knowledge of the local housing market and be able to realistically set your expectations regarding what you will get for your money. While the following is no hard and fast guide, the table below is inteneded to provide indicative pricing in Amsterdam (furnished properties, excluding gas, water, electricity and parking):
An agency should also be clear about the likelihood for finding a property matching all your requirements for the budget you have available.
3. Attention and professional service
An agency should take your housing request seriously and give you due attention, but working with a rental agency is a two-way street requiring committment from both parties. Our advice is to carefully select one agency (at most two) agencies and develop a close relationship to secure the property you like.
4. Negotiation on your behalf
If you want an agency to act on your behalf and represent your interests during negotiation, make sure you select an agency that will do this. Many agencies only represent the interest of owners and are not permitted to also represent your interests. Most agencies and owners do not work with options, so once you make a decision you generally need to conclude promptly. Price is not the only criteria that can be negotiated on - your agency should advise you of where/if there is room for manoeuvre.
5. Thorough check-in and check-out
An agency should accompany you to check-in of your property and take the lead in inspecting the property for damages and reviewing the inventory list provided by the owner. The thoroughness of the check-in documentation will determine to a large degree the amount of deposit returned to you, so a comprehensive inspection is important.
6. Meter readings
As part of your check-in procedure, an agency should record utility meter readings. Accurately knowing the readings when you move in and when you move out means you avoid paying additional costs for utilities you did not use.
7. Deposit administration
Your deposit should be (partially or fully) returned within an agreed period after checking out of an apartment. Your rental agency should act on your behalf in trying to the secure return of your deposit if there is a delay.
Perfect Housing doesn’t charge any fees, we simply show you the goods. We partner with local and international partners to connect you to customized Home Search and relocation programs tailored to each unique situation. Our partners who offer the Home Search service, do this on a no-cure, no-pay basis.