Due to the shortage of housing for students and starters, Amsterdam landlords have a luxurious position. They regularly make use of this by violating the rights of tenants, for example by asking illegally high rent or by performing inadequate maintenance. As a tenant you don’t have to accept this behaviour. Tenants have many rights in the Netherlands.
Even if you do not have an official tenancy agreement, you often have rights. A verbal agreement is also valid, although the existence of such an agreement is sometimes difficult to prove in a rental dispute. If you can prove that you have paid a monthly amount of rent during the rental period, a rental agreement (and therefore rent protection) will soon be assumed. In that case, make sure you pay the rent by bank transfer and not in cash. If you do pay in cash, ask for a receipt.
There are also agreements on rents that you, as a tenant, can invoke. There is a point system, the Property Rating System (WWS, Woningwaarderingsstelsel in Dutch), which determines the maximum rent that may be asked for a room. The calculation of the maximum reasonable rent is different for independent accommodations. Independent accommodations are studio’s: you live here by yourself. Dependent accommodations have shared facilities with others. Calculate the maximum rent for independent accommodations here (only in Dutch unfortunately) and the maximum rent for dependent accommodations here. On average, students in Amsterdam pay 160 euros too much, so be sure to check it out!
Another common practice is for landlords or estate agents to charge key money or brokerage fees. This is never allowed. It is also often not allowed to offer temporary contracts.
Do you still have further questions? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website of !WOON. This is a foundation that provides information to Amsterdam tenants about their rights and assists tenants in procedures to obtain justice.