Once you have organized a viewing for a house/apartment that you are interested in, you should be prepared to question if the place meets your requirements as well as present yourself as an attractive renter. There are two scenarios which you will most probably find yourself in.
One scenario is that you will be renting from a landlord or lady, in which case we have compiled a handy guide on how to present yourself and what questions to ask.
- Be on time.
- Clearly introduce yourself.
- Make sure to be dressed nicely and adequately,
- Be prepared and know what you want to ask. Keeping a list on your phone of your questions may be helpful.
- Ask questions. This will allow you to evaluate the place better and give you a better shot at being chosen to rent. The more the realtor or landlord knows who you are and how serious you are about your interest, the better.
- Say a proper goodbye, again with a handshake and a smile, and ask when you can expect to hear back from them.
- What is the exact rent? (including utilities)
- Are there any extra costs (e.g. municipality taxes, exact costs of gas/water electricity/, agency fee, internet price…)?
- How long does the contract last?
- Is it a sublet? Will your name be on the contract?
- Can the contract be renewed once it expires?
- Is the apartment going to be furnished with what is present at the viewing or are some things going to be taken away (e.g. washing machine, dryer, furniture, curtains…)?
- Does the apartment have a smoke detector and a CO2 monitor?
- Where is the connection for the laundry machine?
- When was the apartment last renovated?
- Is registration at the address possible? If so, how many people can register following the rules of the municipality?
- Are there any additional costs for working with the rental company and/or being a student?
- If you can sublet the apartment to someone else?
- What communication do you have with the landlord?
- Is the Internet included in the apartment/rent? What kind of Internet output does the apartment have?
- Which municipal or regional (water) taxes are covered by the landlord and which by me?
Another scenario may be that you are meeting the current tenets of a shared flat, who will want to get to know you before deciding if they want you to join the flat.
- Once you have been invited to a viewing of a shared flat make sure to be there on time (or earlier to take a look at the neighborhood). Address the flatmates by their names and introduce yourself. Make sure to look nice and be adequately dressed (remember you want to make a good first impression, as you want to live with these people for an extended period of time).
- Don’t bring a gift, as this can be seen as an attempt to influence their decision and is generally not appreciated in the Netherlands!
- Ask questions (you can look at the ones below), and try to get to know the atmosphere of the flat and the individual flatmates better.
- Be sure to know what you are looking for. There are shared flats that are more impersonal and others where flatmates spend more time together, with more communication and shared dinners.
- Allow the flatmates to get to know you and do not put on a mask, again, you will be living together. Be talkative and open to questions from their side as well.
- Lastly, say goodbye with a handshake and reiterate your interest in living with them.
- Engage with the flatmates and ask them questions about what kind of person they’re looking for/what expectations they have about living with someone else.
- Ask about the cleaning schedule
- Ask about organization for food (does everyone buy their own food or is it shared between the flatmates?)
- The most important part is showing to be open and friendly. What are the neighbours like?
- Ask whether they expect the flatmates to hang out together and socialize or do their own thing in terms of social activities?
- Ask whether parties are allowed and if they are frequent or not
- Also ask the questions we mention in the landlord section, as these are still very important to know!