We’re is excited to announce our rebranding. As of 1 April 2023, the company will be changing its name from Expat Property Brokers back to its original name of J&B Makelaars.
The company was established in 2016 by experienced international estate agent Bridgette Ball and her husband Jason Ball – hence the name J&B Makelaars. Over the years, J&B Makelaars saw natural growth in the expat property market in the Netherlands due to their understanding of their clients’ needs as they are expats themselves. This resulted in them renaming the company to Expat Property Brokers and focusing mainly on the expat market.
As more and more real estate agencies started focusing on the expat market, Bridgette says that their brand as “the” Expat Property Brokers became diluted to become “a” expat property broker. That’s why they have decided it is time for a change.
“We are going back to our roots as J&B Makelaars with a renewed focus on providing that specialised personal touch in all aspects of property services for expats.” According to Bridgette Ball, “We want our customers to feel like they have found a true home and not. Just a house when they come to us for help finding or selling a property.”
J&B Makelaars’ mission will remain unchanged – providing comprehensive real estate services tailored specifically for expats all over the Netherlands. We are committed to helping you find your perfect home abroad with ease and confidence. With an experienced team who understand what it’s like being an expat, you can trust us with your real estate needs every step of the way – we are Your Expat Property Brokers.
So if you’re looking for assistance with buying, selling or renting a property in the Netherlands then look no further – contact J&B Makelaars today!
If you’re considering buying a property in the Netherlands, 2023 is shaping up to be a great year to do it. Prices are expected to rise steadily over the next few years, so getting in now could mean big savings down the line. Plus, with drops in the average house prices, it’s a buyers’ market. So if you’re thinking of making a move, now is the time.
The average house price in the Netherlands has decreased by 5% in the last year
The decrease in average house prices in the Netherlands last year could be a great opportunity for potential homeowners. It’s expected that house prices will drop another 3% in 2023 and 2% in 2024. Reduced prices across the country make it even more accessible to those who are looking to purchase their own property and begin building their perfect home. Despite this decrease, buying a house in the Netherlands still provides not only a secure investment but a place for you and your family to live and thrive. Homeowners can take advantage of the decrease by finding the best possible deal now, or taking some time to find that dream home they have always been searching for.
Due to the rise of interest rates, the market is shifting and cooling down
For those looking to purchase a home, rising interest rates are great news! Generally, rising interest rates create a market shift whereby house prices begin to cool down. This means that buyers have extra negotiating power when making an offer on their dream home – as the seller may be more willing to lower the initially proposed price. Now can truly be a great time for potential new homeowners wanting to jump into the market! With rising interest rates and a cooling off of prices, buyers can feel confident in their ability to make a fair offer at an affordable sum.
People under the age of 35 have been given a unique opportunity to purchase their own homes with an increased transfer tax discount limit. People in this age group do not have to pay transfer tax if they purchase a house for 440.000 euros or less, something that isn’t possible for those in higher age brackets. It’s an excellent chance for young people to start investing in their future and create a stable financial basis upon which they can expand in the years to come. Furthermore, they will be able to enjoy all the joys of home ownership without having to worry about exorbitant transaction costs detracting from their purchases. Let’s take advantage of this generous opportunity and invest in our own futures!
The NHG limit will rise to € 405,000
If you’re thinking about buying a property and the purchase price or value comes in at less than 405.000 euros, then you can rest assured that you’ll be able to claim a mortgage with the NHG, something announced by them for 2022 when previously the limit had been 355.000 euros. This is also excellent news as it gives prospective homeowners access to far better mortgage deals through the scheme. For example, if your finances aren’t looking too great, then you may have to face up to paying a higher interest rate on a loan which could unduly add to your stress levels. If that’s the case then why not consider the NHG proposals, and take ownership of your dream home all the more achievable?
The one-time gift limit will decrease
In 2022, parents were allowed to gift their children 106.671 euros tax-free and use it to purchase property in the country. However, In 2023 this amount will decrease to 27.231 euros! This can be seen as an opportunity for those planning on buying property abroad: with the lowered one-time gift limit there is less competition for expats entering the market with a large sum of money, creating a much more level playing field for aspiring homeowners and investors alike!
First-time home buyers could soon get cheap €75,000 loans to make buying easier
First-time home buyers can soon look forward to more affordable prices as the government is introducing a €75,000 loan program to reduce the financial barrier of purchasing a house. This makes buying a home much easier and more achievable for those who may not be able to pay in full or have access to ample savings. The loan is likely to come with either negligible or no interest attached, which is an added bonus that helps make the dream of homeownership much more accessible. First-time home buyers should take advantage of this beneficial plan, maximizing their chance at getting on the property ladder without breaking the bank.
Now is the best time to buy a property in the Netherlands with Expat Property Brokers
Now is the perfect time to buy a house in the Netherlands! Expat Property Brokers is here to guide you throughout the entire process, from finding and viewing potential homes to negotiating a fair price and making the final purchase. They’ll provide all the resources you need to avoid costly mistakes and give you all of the inside information needed for a smooth transaction. With their international experience and understanding of local customs, having them by your side as you search for your dream home is invaluable. Don’t wait any longer – contact Expat Property Brokers today and start your journey towards owning a home in the Netherlands!
Want to make the most of those hot summer days? Consider installing solar panels!
By selling off excess power to your electricity grid in the Netherlands, under ‘the salderingsregeling’, you can lower your utility bill. But don’t wait too long because this arrangement will be phased out in stages over 6 years starting 1 Jan 2025. Catch up on how it works so that you get the most bang for each shiny ray before it’s gone!
Use it yourself or sell it back to the grid
You can either choose to make use of the extra energy generated by the solar panels yourself by implementing a battery system (something that’s becoming more popular in South Africa as well) or you can sell it back to the grid. Either option provides a more cost-effective solution to the current rise in utility prices.
Things to know about selling back to the grid
Not all grids will let you sell back the extra energy
According to the KVK: “Before you apply for the salderingsregeling, check with your grid administrator whether or not it is possible to supply energy back to the grid. The grid must have the capacity to receive and process the energy you supply. This is not always the case. The EAN codebook (in Dutch) will tell you which grid operator is responsible for the network you are on….
“Do you want to make use of the salderingsregeling? Then you are legally required to notify the power grid administrators that you have solar panels. You can notify them via the website energieleveren.nl. The notification consists of your contact details, plus information about your power installation: the meter number of your electricity meter and your solar panels’ capacity. It is an offence not to notify your solar panels. Also, your energy supplier may decide not to compensate you for solar power you have put back in the grid.”
Only intended for small consumers
The salderingsregeling is a great arrangement for small businesses who do not require more than 55.2 kW power to run their machinery, such as saunas and heated pools. This applies specifically to those with business connections of up to 3×80 Amperes – if your system needs higher energy use, you, unfortunately, cannot benefit from the program!
You only pay if you use more than you supply
Do you use more energy than is supplied back to the grid? If so, your energy provider will net out any excess supply. That means you only pay the difference between kWhs used and their associated taxes or surcharges. On the flip side, if you supplied more electricity than what you used then some providers may even pay YOU for this extra power! While exact rates depend on each supplier’s policies, it could mean that not only don’t need to worry about an electric bill but also be rewarded with money in return!
Phasing out of the salderingsregeling
From 2025 onwards, the Dutch government will be taking steps to phase out their salderingsregeling. During 2025 and 2026, you’ll only be able to make use of up to 64% of your total generated power to offset what you use. After this point, however, the maximum percentage allowed progressively reducesby 9% per year until it ceases altogether at 2031.
Make use of subsidies and tax schemes to buy your solar panels for cheaper
Looking to invest in solar panels? You may be able to save money with certain subsidies and tax schemes. For example, you can reclaim the 21% VAT on your purchase from the Dutch Tax Administration if eligible.
Another option is the KIA or Small Projects Investment Credit – this allows a deduction of part of investment in solar panels from profit when paying income tax.
And finally, there are two additional eco-investment allowances; EIA (Energy Investment Allowance) which deducts energy investments such as Solar Panels and MIA (Environmental Investment Allowance), for environmentally friendly purchases that lower taxes due at year-end.
As a tenant in the Netherlands, it is important to know how to properly maintain your rental home. By following a few simple tips, you can keep your home in good condition and avoid any potential problems with your landlord. In this blog post, we will share some essential maintenance tips for tenants in the Netherlands.
Maintaining your rental property in the Netherlands can be a tricky endeavour, but with the help of the Minor Repairs Decree for Tenants in the Netherlands, it doesn’t have to be. The Minor Repairs Decree established by the Dutch government outlines specific obligations and responsibilities for both landlords and tenants in regard to repairs and maintenance.
What does the Minor Repairs Decree include?
The Minor Repairs Decree outlines several repairs and maintenance regulations that tenants and landlords must adhere to. For example, major repairs must be carried out within two weeks of the tenant submitting a repair request unless it is an emergency repair due to safety or health risks.
Landlords are also responsible for performing regular maintenance checks on their rental premises, ensuring the property still meets the standard of habitability for tenants. Homeowners may need a permit before they can undertake repairs on their property, depending on local laws. Furthermore, the Minor Repairs Decree also sets out provisions which prevent landlords from disregarding repairs or neglecting to fix them in a timely manner.
What are tenants responsible for and what is classified as a ‘minor repair’?
Tenants in the Netherlands are responsible for any minor repairs that need to be done. This includes anything that is classified as a ‘minor repair’ according to Dutch law, such as small cracks or damages caused through normal wear and tear. Of course, it’s important to note that tenants must cover the costs of these minor repairs themselves. On the other hand, when it comes to major damages, those fall on the property owner rather than the tenant under Dutch law. Despite paying for minor repairs, tenants remain entitled to an environment in which their safety and well-being are not compromised – something that’s especially relevant given their limited involvement with larger repairs.
Please note the following:
It’s the tenant’s responsibility to notify the owner immediately if something is wrong with the property regardless of who is responsible.
The tenant can always get a second opinion to establish is the problem is due to them or due to the item being old and needing to be replaced.
Here is a link to the Minor Repairs Decree in English: http://www.dutchcivillaw.com/legislation/decreeonminorrepairs.htm
How to perform some of the repairs or maintenance checks:
Although some of the repairs are pretty straight forward others might be new to tenants, especially if they’re expats and the Dutch climate is very different to what they’re used to. Here are a few helpful tips:
How to prevent your taps from freezing
Maintaining freezing taps is important, as freezing water can cause damage to the tap’s internal construction. The best way to prevent freezing taps is to ensure they are adequately insulated. This can be accomplished by wrapping the faucet with layers of insulation material such as foam pipe wrap or rubber insulation. Additionally, caulk can be used around any crevices that may allow air to pass through and potentially cool down the pipes. Oftentimes, the primary source of freezing starts deep within the piping- that’s why it’s important not only to take actions which prevent freezing on top but also at insulating pipes which might be vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Taking these steps can help significantly reduce instances of freezing taps and save homeowners from extra costs long term.
If you have a useable chimney, how often does it need to be cleaned, whom can you contact to clean it in the Netherlands and what are the costs?
If you live in the Netherlands and have a functioning chimney, sweep it at least once a year for a thorough cleaning. However, if you use your fireplace frequently, then sweep it twice yearly as creosote can build up quickly and result in dangerous conditions. Professional chimney sweeps are available to help and should be contacted when possible. Most companies will inspect the entire system, sweep out creosote residue, remove animal nests or other debris, check the damper for proper operation and give advice on how to best maintain the fireplace going forward. The cost for these services is based largely on the size of your chimney and can range from just a few euros up to hundreds of euros depending on the complexity of the job.
How to protect your rental home from dampness and mould?
Damp and mould can cause serious damage to your rental home if left unchecked. Taking some preventative measures can help to protect your property from dampness and mould. These measures include: ensuring that the property is well-ventilated, using damp-proof paint or membrane on walls and ceilings, fixing any leaks promptly, and keeping the property clean and free of clutter. If you do find mould in your rental home, it is important to deal with it promptly to avoid further damage.
What to do if your sewerage is blocked
Sewerage blockages can be a nightmare to deal with and in the Netherlands, it’s no different. If you have sewerage problems, the best thing you can do is act quickly and try to fix it yourself if possible by using a sewer snake and flushing biodegradable cleaners down the drain. If that doesn’t work, there are many sewerage companies that operate nationwide that can come help solve your blockage problem. It’s important to remember that when sewerage systems become blocked, there is often a larger underlying problem such as roots from trees growing in the sewer line or even a cracked sewer pipe. That is why it is best to seek out professional help so you don’t end up needing more repair work than necessary.
As an expat in the Netherlands, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to repairing or maintaining your rental home. The Minor Repairs Decree protects tenants from being responsible for major repairs, but there are still some things that you may be expected to take care of. By understanding what the decree includes and how to perform some of the necessary maintenance tasks, you can help avoid any problems down the road. And if you’re ever unsure about something, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional realtor who can offer guidance and assistance – because at Expat Property Brokers that’s exactly what we’re here for!
Previously we provided information about many of the everyday types of basic household waste, here in The Netherlands. We indicated who is responsible for everyday waste management, and how you can ensure you play your part in the recycling process to help keep our world a little greener and cleaner! Did you know The Netherlands is aiming to be a completely waste-free country by 2050?
The Netherlands currently has a top-down approach to waste disposal, with the following being the process followed from most preferred to least preferred: · Reduce – Eliminate or minimise waste at the source · Re-use – Use materials for a second use or an additional function · Recover – Recapture material or energy from the waste stream · Dispose – Incinerate waste without energy recovery and then landfill anything else.
It is important to note, that there is more to waste management systems in this country, then just the everyday basic waste streams. There are also waste disposal streams for additional items which we should be aware of and ensure we dispose of correctly.
The following is a list (not exhaustive) of additional ways we can help the waste management system run smoothly.
Batteries – Never dispose of batteries in residential waste, they are classified as small chemical waste and can cause fires, damage to normal waste containers and pollute our environment, if not disposed of correctly. You may not be aware, but some batteries can be recycled into new batteries, so, it’s best to dispose of them in the proper allocated battery collection bins. These can be found at most grocery, hardware stores, as well as at recycling centres. Known in Dutch as the “batterijenbak”.
Light bulbs – Most people try to use LED light bulbs these days, because they use 80% less power and last 20X longer and do not contain mercury. Unfortunately, fluorescent lamps and high-energy efficient lightbulbs can contain mercury, and therefore need to be disposed of carefully. Most grocery stores, hardware stores and recycling centres have special bins for recycling the above three different types of lightbulbs. For the old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs (the one with the small filament inside) as well as halogen lamps, carefully wrap these in tissue or paper and dispose of them with normal household residual waste (the black/grey containers).
Medicines – It is important to know, that you should never flush old or unused medications/pills down toilets, as they should never enter our sewer systems for various biological and chemical reasons. Old or unused medications should always be disposed of by taking them back to pharmacies/medical facilities or using correctly marked waste containers for this at recycling centres. Pharmacies will evaluate medications brought back, and responsibly dispose of them. Try to ensure you remove labels from medication boxes, bottle or tubes when you dispose of them at recycling centres, to protect your identity. On this topic, please always dispose of needles in specially marked needle containers either at pharmacies or medical facilities.
Chemicals/Chemical waste – This can be described further as printer cartridges, toners, caustic cleaning agents and their containers, oils, turpentine or painting materials etc. These types of waste are extremely harmful to our health and the environment and must be carefully disposed of. Certain municipalities offer the service of collecting chemical waste, with the use of a vehicle called a “chemokar”. Often this is done every three months or so. Check your local waste calendar or contact your municipality if you want more information on this service. Alternatively, if the above is not an option, you can dispose of this type of waste at waste separation and recycling centres, which will have suitable collection points. Be careful when travelling with chemical waste substances, always think of safety around this first.
Textiles and clothing – Before considering this type of waste for disposal, first consider if it can be re-used and given to someone else to use or wear again, even if it can be re-used for a different purpose. You could donate gently used clothing items to charities or Kringloops (second hand stores). Many cities have textile recycling bins, for the disposal of textiles. Always consider placing gently used clothing and other reusable textiles into sealed plastic bags, to protect them from water and other dirt if you place them in these large textile containers. You can also place damaged (but clean) textiles in bags, as these can still be recycled into raw textile materials used for heat or sound insulation. Just never place gently used or damaged textiles in the same bags.
ICT Equipment – Things like, computers, printers, phones, or scanners, again here, first consider if the item can still be used or reused first, before looking into disposal. If so, you can contact or Google “IT-recycling”. For well-functioning ICT Equipment, consider donating to charities, schools or Kringloops. If you are donating, selling or disposing of ICT equipment, consider the protection or removal of any (personal) data still sitting on hardware for your own protection.
Electronic equipment – Damaged smaller electronics can often be dropped off at special containers at hardware stores. Most large retail electronic and household appliance stores are required to have collection points for disposal of old electronic equipment and appliances also. Check with your local store if they offer this service. If not, you can take the item for free disposal at your local recycling centre. If you cannot transport it yourself to a recycling centre, contact your municipality and enquire if they have collection services for pick-up of such items.
Bulky waste – Items which are large and do not fit into normal waste containers are dealt with in the same manner as large Electronic Equipment above, in terms of dropping off at recycling centres or contacting your municipality for possible pick-up. These types of items are for example, mattresses, couches, washing machines or other very large electronic equipment. Remember to first consider if the item can be reused. Some Kringloops offer free-pick up for functioning equipment and furniture.
Statiegeld – Deposits are paid on both large and small plastic bottles of soft drinks and water. You will be charged an additional fee (the deposit) over and above the drinks’ price, you will see this on your till-slip when purchasing such items. Once you have emptied and finished the drink, you can bring the empty bottle (and cap) back to the store, and deposit it in the plastic bottle machines to receive your deposit back. The statiegeld deposit logo will be printed on the bottle if it is applicable. In this way ensuring these bottles can be easily recycled and do not pollute our world.
I truly believe, that if each and every single person does the best they can to help recycle waste, we can make a large and positive impact in keeping our world cleaner and greener.
I leave you with one of my favourite Twitter quotes from Anne Marie Bonneau “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
“This call is to inform you that legal action is being taken on your BSN number. Send your BSN number to…”
“The callers often pretend to be from the National Police or the Dutch Supreme Court,” a spokesperson said. Victims usually hear an English recorded tape. “
What is said varies. Sometimes they say, for example, that your social security number is being misused, or that you have an arrest warrant against you.”
Then you are asked to enter a number, after which the victim is put through to a so-called agent. It asks for more information, or to transfer money.
What do they want with that data?
“This kind of sensitive private data is misused for identity fraud, but can also be used to make a scam even more credible. If the person on the phone knows your social security number or IBAN, you may be more likely to think: this is someone from the police or the bank. .”
What should you do if you receive such a call?
“If you get a scam call like this, it’s best to just hang up.
If the person on the phone says he or she is really from the bank or the police, then you ask for a name and that you call the organization back
But in general, this important rule applies: a bank, the police or any other government organization will never ask you for payment details, nor let anyone install software on their computer or phone.”
We all want to live in a greener and cleaner environment, and The Netherlands strives towards this goal. As an individual and a household, we are required to abide by certain waste management protocols. These protocols do vary between municipalities, so it is especially important to check what is required of your household in your specific municipal area. Your taxes pay for these processes, so it is vital you understand how they work.
It is also important to understand the rules around household waste removal, as they can be strict. For example, what rubbish goes where, how to position your roadside waste containers, and when to put them out. Breaking these rules, can result in fines, and YES – they do have waste inspectors who sporadically check what you have placed in various waste containers!
Some municipalities provide waste systems for your home, such as rubbish bins or cans which are collected on the roadside by the local waste removal company at certain (but usually regular) times of the month or week. Others provide communal waste containers, either above or below ground for various waste types, and are emptied by the local waste removal company once full or at certain intervals.
All of this can be ascertained by checking your local waste system’s website or downloading the applicable app. Here you will be able to see which days different household waste is collected in your area or where the closest communal waste container is located. It is important to know that for certain waste containers you may require a “waste container key-card” which are allocated per household if applicable, via your local municipality.
So, let’s talk practicalities. Firstly, knowing what goes where is particularly important, and this can be checked on the internet, waste management websites or your local refuse company’s app. If still in doubt, speak to a neighbour, or simply email your municipality, they will assist you. You will often see the following four colours, where household waste management is concerned:
1 – Blue – Paper recycling – In Dutch known as the papierbakken
This is the blue bin or container and the communal containers are often located near the “glass” recycling containers at shops or parking-lots. They may also be in a public space in your local suburb (wijk). It is important to understand what “types” of paper can be recycled. You don’t want to receive a fine for putting the incorrect thing in your paper recycling container!
2 – Green – Organic waste – In Dutch known as the groenbak or gft (groente, fruit en tuinafval)
This is the green bin or container. All organic waste goes in the green bin, including garden clippings and grass, but be sure not to place large wooden pieces into this bin, as it disrupts the machines and organic composting processes. About two thirds of this type of waste is made into compost and reused by both the municipality and farmers. As organic waste can get messy and stinky (you know what we mean…). Here are a few tips to help with this,
Don’t leave you bin in full sun or a hot place,
Place this waste into the bin as dry as possible, so squeeze out liquids from organic waste, allow grass clippings to dry for a day or two,
Don’t clean these bins with chlorine products, they disrupt the composting process,
Special composting bags are available to help keep your green bin a little cleaner, alternatively a couple of newspaper sheets at the bottom of the bin help too,
Cat litter does NOT go in the green bin – This is a big no no!
3 – Orange – Plastic and packaging waste – Known in Dutch as verpakking or PMD (Plastik, metaal en drinkkarton)
This is the orange bin or container. Certain municipalities pick up verpakking bags directly from the curb side. Most packaging is recyclable these days. This waste stream is for plastic packaging waste, tins and tetrapak packages (e.g. fruit juice/milk containers). It is NOT for hard plastics, like children’s toys or garden furniture. A top tip here, is to clean/rinse this type of waste as much as you can, it really helps keep the recycling process more efficient and not get ruined.
4 – Black – All other non-recyclable waste – Known in Dutch as restafval
Anything which is not green, blue or orange waste, or any of the below, is then allocated to normal household waste, and is collected in black or grey containers. If your municipality does not provide such a bin, you can search for your closest communal “restafval” waste container. This waste is most often incinerated and used for energy purposes.
But… it doesn’t end there! The following household waste management systems are also in place for us all, more information on this will follow in Part 2 of this blog.
An Inschrijving/offer by deadline, something you’ve no doubt heard of or dealt with if you’ve (ever) set your sights on buying a home in the current housing market in the Netherlands. Especially in today’s market, buying by inschrijven/ offer by deadline is more common than ever.
We explain what it is.
When there is a lot of interest in a property, several bids are often made by different interested parties. In that case, the seller can decide to give every candidate the opportunity to make a one-off final offer within a predetermined period. This method is also known as an Inschrijven.
Everyone an equal chance In the case of a tender, the seller does not, therefore, enter into negotiations with one specific candidate (which means that they are not allowed to negotiate with the rest). With an inschrijven, the seller gives everyone an equal chance to bid. The seller can then choose from the bids made.
Right of award The seller always reserves the ‘right of award’. This means they may determine whether the combination of price and terms is sufficient to sell to a particular bidder. Therefore, the seller is not obliged to sell to the highest bidder but can also opt for a lower bid with better conditions, for example. It can even be decided not to award (not to sell). But in general, the seller aims to let candidates know the same day whether the contract has been awarded and to whom.
Not always to the highest bid If you make a bid, it must be expressed in an absolute amount, and the offer must not be related to any other offer. In other words, it is not possible to make a bid of, for example, a thousand euros above the highest bid. Your bid will then be declared invalid.
In addition to the price, a bid must also contain the proposed delivery date and any (resolutive) conditions. These are essential criteria for the seller when making the sale decision.
Is now the time to buy, or is it better to wait? How do I find out defects? These are all questions you have to deal with when you have your eye on a house. It is nice to consult with an experienced buying consultant, completely without obligation. Let one of our brokers call you back!
Yes, call me back!
Buy on registration: blind bidding. The broker may not let interested parties bid against each other. That’s why you never hear what other bidders have bid. This keeps the process fair.
At the same time, this means that you have to bid ‘blind’, that is difficult for many interested parties. On the one hand, you do not know whether you have a chance with your bid, creating uncertainty. Of course, you don’t want to bid too little, but you also don’t want to be ten thousand euros above the second-highest bidder. On the other hand, your chances would shrink if other candidates knew your offer. Moreover, this rule prevents candidates from getting caught up in a bidding war.
When will the sale be completed? Has the seller accepted your offer? Congratulations, you have then sidelined all other bidders, and the purchase agreement can be drawn up. Once the purchase agreement has been signed, the purchase is immediately binding for the seller. The buyer then has a statutory cooling-off period of three days. After the reflection period has passed, you as a buyer can only get out of the purchase agreement if you legally invoke a resolutive condition.
Do you want to buy or sell your home? If there is a lot of interest in your home, selling by inschrijven may be the best choice. Our competent team of consultants are here to help you with the buying or sale process?
From 1 July 2022, a smoke detector is mandatory on every floor. This has been mandatory for new construction since 2003, but will soon also be mandatory for existing homes. We will now include costs for missing smoke detectors as directly necessary costs in an architectural report.
Regardless of whether you have an EU passport or not, if you are going to be living in the Netherlands (for the first time) for more than 4 months, you will need to register for your Citizen Service Number: BSN.
BSN Appointment at Gemeentes:
You need to register for your BSN at your local Gemeente within 5 days of your arrival in the Netherlands. This can either be at the Gemeente where:
your work address is located (if you have permission from your employer to use their address),
your short stay accommodation or people you’re staying with are located (if you have permission from them to use their address) or
the property you’re renting (if you have a rental contract) is located*.
*Note: if you sign a rental contract before your BSN appointment and it’s in a different Gemeente you’ll need to cancel your existing appointment and make a new one at the relevant Gemeente.
Many Gemeente are struggling with the backlog of appointments and some have moved these registrations for expats over to Expat Centres that work in their areas, for example, Utrecht’s Expat Welcome Centre now manages the BSN appointments for the Utrecht, Amersfoort, Woerden, and Oudewater Gemeentes – at no additional fee (read on for explanation).
There are 11 expat centres across the Netherlands each serving a certain area but all focused on helping expats and relieving the burden from local Gemeentes. Service offerings at these centres can vary and additional service costs may apply.
In the case of IN Amsterdam for example, they are an expat centre that caters as an additional service desk where you can register your BSN and collect your residence card – for a fee. It specifically caters for the following gemeentes: Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere, Diemen, Haarlemmermeer, Haarlem, Hilversum and Velsen.
One of the selling points of using a expat centre is that though you may pay a fee for their services you will walk out with your BSN from the appointment (some Gemeentes, not all, will mail it to you in the week[s] following your appointment). But, Expat Centres themselves are also struggling with a backlog of appointments and you might be looking at similar waiting times as the Gemeentes themselves (up to 6 weeks) in certain areas. You’ll either need to make your appointment as far in advance as possible or hope for a cancellation.
IND Appointments at IND Lokets and Expat Centres: Currently, you can only collect your residence permit from the location specified in the letter from the IND (the one chosen by your company when they applied for your residence permit/visa), this means, due to circumstances, that you might not always we able to make use of Expat Centers as a one-stop shop for IND and BSN appointments. These are the current general IND locations where you can collect your residence permit:
Utrecht (they’re closing it 31 March – your company will need to choose another location)
Rotterdam (they’re closing it 25 May – your company will need to choose another location)
If you’d like to have your residence permit sent to an expat centre then your employer needs to select that specific location option (they’re seen as separate from the general IND loketen listed above): https://ind.nl/en/Forms/7511.pdf
Documents for BSN:
It is important to note that there may be differences in the requirements for documents used for your visa application vs. the requirements for the documents you need for your BSN. But, regardless of whether you’re applying for your BSN via an expat centre or a gemeente, the documents for your BSN will stay the same and are required. For example, you are still required to bring (for everyone):
an unabridged birth certificate* with apostille regardless of your age. According to IN Amsterdam this is “applicable for children, European citizens and their partners (EU and non-EU), self-employed entrepreneurs and startup professionals and people with an orientation year residence permit.”
An unabridged marriage certificate*, letter of no impediment (for unmarried couples), divorce decree, adoption certificate or family book. Even if the partner is not joining, a marriage needs to be registered. These documents will also need to be apostilled.
If you don’t believe you’ll have your unabridged birth-/marriage certificates with apostille ready in time for your BSN appointments, the Gemeentes, have been lenient and will allow you to present your unabridged birth-/marriage certificates with apostille within 3 months of your first appointment. You will need a new appointment for this.
IND and BSN appointment dates:
Bookings on short term notice are getting far and few between for both BSN and IND appointments. And, you won’t always be able to make an appointment for your BSN online which means expensive international calls on top of having to wait to be attended. Expat Property Brokers will arrange these appointments for you as part of our Expat Service (which includes collecting you from the airport, arranging a bank appointment to open a bank account and getting a TB test appointment at your local Gemeente). But for us to be the most effective and to arrange the most ideal appointment dates for you we’ll need to know your arrival time is and what address to use (ie. which Gemeente you need to register with) as soon as possible. The sooner we’ll be able to schedule your appointments in advance. Convenient, right?
Speak to one of our Expat Service Agents today for more!