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Terms & Notions

Anti-kraak = Anti-squat (Temporary Leasing)
In the Netherlands there is a law, the vacany law (Leegstandswet), which permits temporary housing in empty buildings that aren’t intended for housing. Most often these are old office buildings. To live in a vacant building, the owner of the building and the future occupants must agree on an anti-squat contract. This type of rental agreement is seen as a temporary contract. The occupants of an anti-squat building are not protected by rental protection.

Belasting samenwerking Gemeentes en Waterschappen Limburg (BsGW) – Taxes Cooperation Municipality’s and Water management Limburg
The tax cooperation between municipalities and water management is an independent body which collect taxes for both parties. Examples of these taxes are the waste levy and the sewer tax.

Coöptatierecht – The right to choose a new tenant
The right of coöptatie is a right that applies to the tenants of accommodation to choose a new roommate when a room becomes vacant. This right can be stated in the rental contract. If so, it is the tenants responsibility to find a new roommate. The downside to this right is that when the tenants fail to do so, they are legally obliged to pay the rent of the vacant room. It is also possible that the right isn’t stated in the rental contract, but the landlord just lets the residents choose a new roommate themselves. In that case, the residents shouldn’t be legally obliged to pay the rent of the vacant room.

Huurverlagingsvoorstel – Proposition for rent decrease
If a tenant disagrees with the rental price, the tenant can apply to the landlord for a rent decrease. If the landlord doesn’t cooperate or agree, it is possible for the tenant to appeal to the rental tribunal.

Jongerencontract – Youth contract
This is a form of rental contract that is automatically terminated when the tenant turns 26 years old. These contracts are often used with accommodation belonging to housing companies that are rented out for a reduced price and meant for young tenants.

Basisregistratie personen (BRP) – Municipal Personal Records Database
In the Netherlands you are legally obliged to register with the municipality of the city you live in. This means that if you move to Maastricht, you have to register with the municipality there. You can register four weeks prior to your move and at latest five days after you’ve moved. Your new municipality will then edit your address in the Municipal Personal Records Database. This is a registration of all the residents in the Netherlands. The municipality will also send your new address to the Dienst Uitvoerend Onderwijs (DUO). If you’ll be staying in the Netherlands for less than four months, you don’t have to register with the municipality.
How to register is explained here:

Kale huurprijs – Basic rental price
The total rental price consist of the basic rental price of an accommodation plus service. The basic rental price is just the price for the accommodation itself.

Kantonrechter – Cantonal Judge
A cantonal judge is a judge that resides on minor cases such as civil cases (up to €25.000), fines, family related issues, labour disputes and rental disputes. This is also known as the sub district court.

Leegstandswet – Vacany law
In the Netherlands there is a law, the vacancy law (Leegstandswet), which permits temporary housing in empty building that aren’t intended for housing. Usually these buildings are intended to be sold, demolished or renovated within the foreseeable future and are often office buildings. The rental contract has a minimum term of six months. The period of notice for the landlord is three months. However, a temporary rental contract does not give a tenant legal rent protection.

Liberalisatiegrens – Rent Ceiling
The landlord of a living space with a basic rental price above the rent ceiling has more freedom to determine the amount of rent. The maximum rent depends on the quality of the housing. You can work out the maximum rent for your home using the rent point system:
Since the 1st of January 2015 the Liberation Limit is set to €710,68.

Nutsvoorzieningen: Gas, water en licht – Utilities: gas, water and electrics.

Nutsvoorzieningen are gas, water and electric utilities.

Onroerendezaakbelasting (OZB) – Real estate tax
Every property owner yearly pays property tax to the municipality. House owners are obliged to pay property tax regardless if they live in their house or not – landlords are therefore also obliged to pay property tax.

Onzelfstandige woningen – Independent accommodation
A tenant of a nondependent accommodation partly shares the facilities with other tenants. Usually these are facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom. A nondependent accommodation is usually not applicable for huurtoeslag (rent supplement from the government).

Opzegtermijn huurcontract – Notice to cancel rental contract / lease termination
The required notice to cancel your rental agreement is the period of time between two consecutive rent payments. The minimal period to cancel your lease is one month, the maximum period is three months. When you signed a lease agreement for a year, you can only cancel your lease once the rental period has passed, unless the landlord agrees.

Puntensysteem van de Huurcommissie – Point System of the Rent Tribunal
With the point system of the Rent Tribunal, you can calculate the maximum amount of rent you are legally allowed to pay for your living space. These rules are unknown to most (Dutch) people and are not enforced automatically. To enforce them, you have to start a case at the Rent Tribunal. Unfortunately, the Rent Tribunal only communicates in Dutch.

Stoffering – Upholstery
Upholstery is the decoration of the room with expectation of the furniture. Generally floors, carpet, curtains, blinds, window decorations and wall decorations are counted as upholstery.

Vereniging van Eigenaren (VvE) –Union of (home)Owners
The union of homeowners is a union that consists of owners of an apartment or building complex. The union is responsible for all the communal interests such as the building’s maintenance. The VvE also draws up a order of conduct regarding the rules and regulations of communal areas of the building.

Waarborgsom- Deposit
The landlord will generally require the tenant to pay a month’s rent as deposit. The deposit can be up to three months basic rent. The deposit is to cover any costs at the end of the lease, such as damage or rent arrears. Pay the deposit preferably via a bank transfer, otherwise demand a proof of payment from the landlord.

Zelfstandige woning – Independent accommodation
An independent accommodation has its own front door, own kitchen and own toilet. Independent accommodation is applicable for Huurtoeslag (rental subsidy from the government).





Important Parties

Brandweer – Fire department
On the Dutch website of the fire department you can find several tips to improve your fire safety.

Gemeente Maastricht – Municipality of Maastricht
The municipality of Maastricht is the local form of governance after the national Dutch government and the Province of Limburg. The municipality is responsible for a great number of things. Examples of such responsibilities are city development, traffic and transport, education, taxes, social wellbeing and social affairs.

Handhaving – Law enforcement
In the Netherlands not only the police are concerned with law enforcement, but also a special team called Handhaving. This is a team that focuses on local law enforcement. The duty of team Handhaving is to make sure that everybody obeys the rules regarding issues such as parking policy, drugs related issues, waste, noise disturbance and building safety. You can recognise members of team Handhaving by their uniforms.

Huurcommissie – Rent Tribunal
The rent tribunal is an independent national organisation that mediates when there is a dispute between tenants and landlords. You can appeal to the rent tribunal when you have an issue concerning rent prices, maintenance or service costs. A ruling by the rent tribunal is binding.

Huurteam – Housing Helpdesk
A rental team helps tenants to solve problems they may have with their landlord. Many cities in the Netherlands have their own rental team: Groningen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Nijmegen and Maastricht.

Maastricht Housing
Maastricht Housing is a cooperation between student housing organisations: Guesthouse UM and Stichting Studentenhuisvesting Maastricht. The housing corporations Servatius, Maasvallei and Woonpunt are part of the Stichting Studentenhuisvesting Maastricht. The goal of Maastricht Housing is to find accommodation for students, employees and guests from Maastricht University, Hogeschool Zuyd and Jan van Eyck Academie.

Maastricht University
Maastricht University is a public university in Maastricht. Founded in 1976, the university is the second youngest of the 13 Dutch universities.

make maastricht yours has been a collaboration by Maastricht University, Gemeente Maastrichtand Zuyd Hogeschool. The platform will provide you with all information you need to settle in Maastricht and explore the city to the fullest. You can find information about finances, health care, housing, transportation, sports, culture and much more. The portal has been created and is maintained by students.

Politie – Police
In Maastricht the police has a dedicated student police offier who deals with student affairsStudent Agent Maastricht
For general questions you can contact the police through the regular means:

Zuyd Hogeschool – Zuyd University of Applied Sciences
Zuyd University of Applied Sciences is an institute for higher education with ten faculties spread out over Heerlen, Sittard and Maastricht.

Maastricht University
The university of Maastricht, consists of 6 faculties en more or less 16.000 students.





Administratiekosten – Administration costs
Administration costs are only allowed if they are proportionate to the work done by the mediator. For example, offering help with getting a license if needed. Watch out! Administration Costs should never be a hidden mediation fee.

Afvalstofheffing = Waste levy
The municipality collects household waste once a week. The fixed costs for this is € 253,24 a year (for 2015). When renting independent accommodation, the tenant is billed for these costs. Tenants of independent accommodation are expected to pay these costs themselves.
The landlord is billed for these costs when renting independent accommodation. These costs can be forwarded by the landlord to the tenant. If a tenant of nondependent accommodation is billed for waste levy, it is possible to object to this by using the following link. (Only available in Dutch:>)

Bemiddelingskosten – Agency fee
In Maastricht you often have to pay an agency fee for your new living space. The law is clear about when this is allowed or not.
An Agency is allowed when:
– A mediator is allowed to ask an agency fee if the living space in a dependant living space, generally a room. A dependant living space does not have an own front door, kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
– The tenant asked a mediation office to find a living space for him/her. The mediator only works for the tenant in this case.

An Agency is not allowed when:
– A mediator works for both the tenant and the landlord, it is not allowed to charge the tenant for reaching an agreement which results in a lease. these costs are to be charged to the landlord (BW, boek 7, art. 417 en 427).
– A mediator is only allowed to work for both the landlord and the tenant, if the tenant has given written consent. If this consent was not given, an agency fee is not allowed(BW, boek 7, art. 417 lid 1 en 2).

Borg – Deposit
The landlord will generally require the tenant to pay a month’s rent as deposit. The deposit can be up to three months basic rent. The deposit is to cover any costs at the end of the lease, such as damage or rent arrears. Pay the deposit preferably via a bank transfer, otherwise demand a proof of payment from the landlord.

Huurtoeslag – Housing Benefit
If you spend a large proportion of your income on rent, you may be eligible for housing benefit. To be eligible for housing benefit, your rent must be no more than € 710,68 a month. The limit for people under 23 is € 403,06 a month. Your eligibility for housing benefit will then depend chiefly on your income, your assets and your personal circumstances, for example the number of occupants.

Inschrijfgeld – Subscription fee
Mediation offices or websites are allowed to ask for a subscription fee, if they’re reasonable. They should never be hidden intermediation costs. A MaastrichtHousing membership costs €35, for example.

Rioolheffing – Sewer Levy
To use the sewage system you have to pay sewage tax. The BsGW (Taxes cooperation Municipality’s and Water management Limburg) collects this tax for the Province of Limburg. The municipalities use the money to maintain the sewage system. The amount of sewage levy is based on the heads per household which are registered in the municipality basic registration of people. For each resident a sewage unit of tax has to be paid.
With nondependent accommodation the landlord is expected to pay the tax. Tenants of dependent accommodation are expected to pay the tax themselves.
If you are a tenant of a nondependent accommodation and you have received a bill for sewage levy, you can object to the BsGW. The BsGW will then take up the issue with the landlord.

Servicekosten – Service costs
Your rent price is made up of the basic rent for the accommodation itself and additional costs also known as service costs. Service costs are forward payments for cleaning, garden maintenance, upholstery, furniture and a property caretaker. The usage of utilities such as gas, water and electricity are also part of the service costs. You are supposed to receive an overview of these costs each year.

Type of costs Consists of: What costs may be passed?
Energy and water Costs for the use of gas water and electricity. If you have individual meters: The costs incurred. If you do not have an individual meter; the total costs are to be shared through a prearranged allocation.
Property caretaker Costs for the property caretaker like salary housing and materials. Costs related to work done for the tenants. Divided through a prearranged allocation.
Administration Administration of the agreed products and services. Generally 5% of the total service costs.
Other costs Cleaning and repairs for the common areas. Costs are to be shared through a prearranged allocation.
Furniture/upholstery A compensation for the use of furniture and upholstery. If the furniture and upholstery is also leased; 20% of the purchase value can be charged yearly.

Sleutelgeld – ‘Key money’
‘Key money’ is the amount requested by the landlord or by departing tenants to the new tenant in exchange for the key. This is now allowed as stated in Article 7:264 lid 1 BW.