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Renting a property

For those expats engaged in employment assignments of less than 3 years, huren (renting) a property may be the most effective option. Rental costs are fixed and contracts can be ended if/when the assignment is completed. Investment is not lost by having to resell, nor are there concerns about selling the property should the market change.

Finding a property to rent
  • Search online. There are a number of websites that list available properties in the Maastricht Region, some offer search alerts tailored to search preferences. This way direct contact with the makelaar (real estate agent) or eigenaar (property owner) can be made as soon as a suitable residence is posted online. There are several real estate platforms in the Netherlands where you can search for suitable homes, such as: FundaPararius, Jaap.
  • Engage the services of a real estate agent. This way information about newly listed residences can be accessed before they are externally advertised. Some real estate agents charge a fee for registering with them, though this may prove beneficial in finding the right property.
    There are 2 types of real estate agents: 
    • Woonstichtingen: agencies owning the estates (housing associations).
      Rent can be agreed upon for an indefinite period of time. The residences will be delivered kaal (without furniture).
    • Makelaars: agencies mediating between the owner and tenant (real estate agents).
      Normally the agent will act for the landlord, so their mediation costs are the responsibility of the landlord not the tenant*. The residences will often be delivered with soft furnishings and possibly with furniture and home-appliances.
  • Try social media expat groups in the region, these are relevant sources of information and instead of waiting for a residence to become available a request for potential properties can be made and contacts can be discussed within the expat community themselves.
  • Some employers have agreements with real estate agencies and/or property owners who have residences set up for expats (fully furnished family-sized properties who allow for more than 3 months but less than 1 year contracts).

* Real estate agencies are not allowed to represent both the landlord and the tenant parties at the same time, as this would give rise to a conflict of interest. They can only represent either the landlord or the tenant. The agency is only allowed to charge the party they are allowed to represent. If that is the landlord then the agency cannot charge the tenant, and the tenant does not have to pay the agency. If the tenant has already paid, they can claim a refund.

Viewing potential residences

The property market moves quickly in the Maastricht Region. When a potential suitable residence is found, contact the real estate agent or owner as soon as possible. If it is possible a bezichtiging (viewing) will be arranged. This can be carried by the potential huurder (tenant), or if not a contact or colleague of the potential tenant.

Residences for rent are available in 3 different states of furnishing:

  • kaal (bare): the Dutch form of “unfurnished”, however it is much less than that – the property is rented with no carpets, curtains/blinds, light fittings or flooring and the kitchen will have cupboards, a sink and taps but probably with no appliances whatsoever. (In some cases, the former tenant may offer to sell the carpets, curtains, light fittings etc. or appliances to the new tenant);
  • gestoffeerd (soft furnishings): with flooring or carpets, curtains/blinds, light fittings. The kitchen may have some appliances (stove, oven, fridge, freezer, washing machine, dishwasher);
  • gemeubileerd (furnished): including soft furnishings, kitchen appliances, and furniture. May include cutlery, crockery, bed linen, etc.  

If the property is suitable, an application is made by the potential tenant to the owner either directly or via the real estate agent.

Documentation required in support of the tenant’s application:

  • proof of identity: photocopy of a passport or identity card;
  • proof of employment if working, proof of enrolment if studying;
  • proof of income: recent payslip.

If the owner accepts the prospective tenant’s application, the huurovereenkomst (rental contract) is then negotiated.

The rental contract

Points to note in the rental contract:

  • States the beginning and end of the contract – huurovereenkomsten (rental contracts). It usually starts from one year. If a shorter contract is required, this needs to be negotiated with the real estate agent / owner of the property. Expats can request a diplomatenclausule (diplomatic clause) that allows them to break the contract quickly if they need to return to their home country unexpectedly.
  • When the first year is completed, one month’s notice for termination from either party is customary.
  • Details regarding who is responsible for maintenance and repairs (tenant, owner or real estate agency).
  • Details of the amount of the security deposit (usually 1 or 2 month’s rent) and the first and last month’s rent paid up front.

According to Dutch law rent can be increased within a certain percentage once per year.

Further detailed information about rental contracts and Dutch law pertaining to obligations of tenants and landlords is available online .

For questions or problems concerning rent or rented accommodation, please contact the Huurteam Zuid-Limburg. Their expert team can guide you through the necessary procedures related to renting and they are also able to assist with the Huurcommissie (Rental Tribunal) national, independent and impartial agency which can mediate and adjudicate on disputes between tenants and landlords about rent levels, maintenance and service charges.

Rent benefit

EU/EEA citizens or people with a valid residence permit whose income is below a certain level can apply for huurtoeslag (rent benefit). This housing allowance is a monthly payment from the Belastingdienst (Tax and Customs Administration) to support low-income residents. Only 1 person can apply for huurtoeslag for each address, and the annual income of all residents is taken into account when assessing the amount of the huurtoeslag.

Related Partners

La Fontaine Makelaardij
Pro Housing and Pooters Makelaardij
123 Housing
The Social Hub