It’s extremely hard to find accommodation in Breda while you’re still living abroad. So for your first weeks here, we recommend booking temporary accommodation, such as a hotel, a bed & breakfast or short-stay apartments.
A common way to find long-term rental accommodation is by looking on social media platforms such as Facebook. Our advice is to become a member in all groups, post a friendly description of who you are and what you’re looking for and check all posts daily. The rental market is very active and the demand is high, which means good places rent out fast! Please make sure you do your own due diligence and stay safe while looking for a home. Don’t make any payments to people you haven’t met for properties that you haven’t visited.
Facebook groups/pages for finding accommodation:
- Find a room(mate) or house in Breda – Kamer(s) in Breda
- Kamers, studio’s en appartementen in Breda
- Living Arrangements Breda
- Find a room in Breda (International students friendly)
- Breda Rooms
- Breda (NLD) Appartement / Huis te huur / Apartment / House / Room / Home For Rent
The most official and automated way to look for rentals in Breda is through specialized platforms and websites, or with an agent (makelaar). Most of them require a paid membership to get contact info and viewings of places. Remember to cancel your subscription when you’re done with the house hunting.
Useful terms in Dutch:
- huren = to rent
- kopen = to buy
- te huur = for rent
- te koop = for sale
- kamer = room
- (woon)huis = house
- woning = residence, dwelling
- makelaar = real estate agent
- makelaardij = agency
Here are a few search terms (zoektermen) in Dutch to help you find the most popular housing platforms used by locals:
- kamer huren Breda
- appartement huren Breda
- rent room Breda
- rent apartment Breda
- woning kopen/huren
- huis kopen/huren Breda
- rental apartments Breda
- studio huren Breda
Generally, rental apartments will come in three different states:
unfurnished (kaal) – this means the apartment is empty, so there will be no appliances, no light fixtures, and sometimes no flooring.
upholstered (gestoffeerd) – these apartments have flooring, (some) lights, curtains/blinds, kitchen appliances (at least a refrigerator and a stovetop, but some apartments may also have an oven, a microwave and a dishwasher)
furnished (gemeubileerd) – these apartments have floors, appliances, and furniture (e.g. chairs, table, bed), a washing machine, kitchen utensils, linens and lamps. Move-in ready!
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK IF THE RENT:
- includes or excludes service costs (servicekosten)
- includes or excludes WGL (water, gas, light
The words to look for in an ad are inclusief (or incl.) and exclusief (or excl.)
If the rent does not include these additional costs, find out what the total costs are before signing a rental contract.
As a tenant, you will also be responsible for your share of a water, sewer and trash bill sent once a year by the municipality (gemeente). This is usually not included in your rental payments. For a current estimate of this tax in Breda, please head to the BWBrabant website.
A FEW OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU’RE RENTING IN BREDA:
Always check if the description of the place matches the photos.
- Don’t rent a place without a proper lease (legal contract). It’s not a regular practice in the Netherlands and if someone tries to do it, it might be a scam.
- Don’t pay money before the lease is signed by both parties. As a tenant, you won’t have any rights to claim the money back without a signed document. Also, don’t pay money before viewing the property. If you need to pay a deposit to secure an apartment (after viewing it), always ask for a receipt!
- Provide identification details when signing a lease and allow the landlord to verify the information against your ID, but avoid giving a copy of your identity documents. They could be used for fraud.
- Always check that you are allowed to register with the municipality (gemeente) at that address. Note some addresses only let you register ONE person, so if you are living together, make sure you are allowed to register everyone living there.
Legally, a landlord is usually allowed to break a lease contract for three main reasons:
- they want to move in and live there themselves. In this case, the landlord needs to let the tenant know in advance (according to the terms of the contract)
- the tenant didn’t pay the rent or the rent was paid too late (according to the terms of the contract)
- the tenant damaged the property or broke other rules mentioned in the contract.
Tenant rights are covered in Article 7 of the Dutch Civil Code. To get a better idea of your rights and obligations as a tenant, here’s an English translation of the Dutch Civil Code.
Finding a house can be fun, but it can also turn into a frustrating process. Nearly all homes are listed online these days, so you can search online using various housing sites. You can also employ a real estate agent (makelaar) to help with the search. Make sure any agent you choose is a member of NVM (The Dutch Organization of Real Estate Agents and Appraisers). Some real estate agencies (makelaardij) also offer notification services if they have a home for sale matching your criteria (i.e. price, location, number of bedrooms, etc.)
Once you find the perfect house, you can put an offer directly with the selling agent, or with your own buyers’ agent. If your offer is accepted, you’ll have to sign a contract that will include some key clauses.
Most contracts will specify a time period for obtaining a mortgage (usually between 4 and 6 weeks). Usually the contract is contingent on you qualifying for a specific amount. You can also request, as part of your offer, to inspect the house for structural issues.
Along with the contract, you will receive a disclosure about the property indicating what is included/excluded in the sale and if any issues are already known. Read this disclosure carefully!
Unless paying cash is an option, most homebuyers will need to take out a mortgage (hypotheek). You can talk to advisors or use online calculators for free to estimate how much you will qualify for, and estimate the costs needed to complete a sale.
Here is a quick breakdown of the costs you will need to consider.
- The sale price of the home. This is the amount you will need to cover in cash and financing.
- Agent fee (makelaarscourtage): 1-2% of the sale price OR a flat rate (typically 1000-2000 euros). The agent will help you find a home, make an offer and complete the sale.
- Notary fees (550-800 euros for the title deed and 550-800 euros for the mortgage deed): a Notaris is the legal entity responsible for writing up the title transfer deed (leveringsakte) and the mortgage deed (hypotheekakte). If you don’t speak fluent Dutch, you’ll have to pay an extra fee to have an interpreter present when you sign the documents at the notary.
- Structural inspection survey: 350-500 euros. If you choose to do a structural survey of the home, the inspector will provide you with a report showing estimated repair costs and the current condition of the home. This is paid before closing the sale.
- Assessment/WOZ Valuation (taxatierapport): about 0.2% of the sale price. Before a sale is complete, the property must be assessed (valuation) for the WOZ tax. This assessment is also used by the mortgage lender. You can get financing up to the assessed value, but not more (unless you are renovating).
- Deposit/Bank guarantee – Contracts typically stipulate that you must put down 10% of sale price as a good-faith deposit. Alternatively, you can pay (usually 250-300 euros) for the bank to pay the deposit from the approved mortgage amount.
- Title transfer tax (overdrachtsbelasting): 2%. Almost all of the other fees are tax deductible but not this one. However, starting in 2021, this tax will be waived for first-time buyers under the age of 35.
- If Dutch is not your fluent language, you must employ an interpreter at closing. They can charge from 275-350 euros + VAT.
Here is a breakdown of fees for getting a mortgage
- Mortgage Advice/Origination (Hypotheekadvies/Hypotheekakte) – 2500-3500 euros
- Independent accounting for self-employed people. If you are self-employed (ZZP), you will need to pay for an independent accountant to review your finances. This is done by one of four certified entities. They all charge the same rates. 225+VAT for a one-man operation (eenmanszaak).
- Chamber of Commerce excerpt (KvK uittreksel), if you are self-employed. You can get this document digitally from the KvK for 7.50 euros.
- NHG national mortgage guarantee: 0.7% fee (of the mortgaged amount, not sale price) – An NHG guaranteed loan can get better interest rates, and also covers the difference if you must sell at a loss.
In addition to copies of your IDs, tax returns and bank account balance statements, here is a list of a few other documents you may need to buy a house:
- Werkgeversverklaring: a statement from your employer confirming your employment and salary. Your mortgage advisor can provide a form.
- Loonstrook: a recent pay stub from your employer
- KvK uittreksel: a document confirming the registration of your own business with the Chamber of Commerce (if you’re self-employed).
Once you’re ready to choose a real estate agent and a mortgage broker, have a look at the list of trusted partners that work with expats on the Holland Expat Center South website.