Frequently Asked Questions rental properties

Welcome to the frequently asked questions at Interhouse letting agents and Interhouse property management about rental properties. Here are the answers to questions you may have. Use the search bar to find your question or view the questions below.

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First check our frequently asked questions (FAQs) to see if the defect is included in the list.

There are a few things you can check for yourself first:

  • Is the appliance plugged in (properly)?
  • Check the fuse box: have any of the switches tripped?
  • Does resetting the appliance help? Some appliances have a reset function for this. Others need to have the power switched off for 30 minutes.
  • Are the filters blocked or do they need cleaning?

If you’ve tried all of this and the problem still hasn’t been resolved, you can report the problem (preferably by E-mail) to the landlord/manager. Don’t forget to state what you’ve already done to try and rectify the situation, any specific error codes, when the problem started, the frequency of the problem etc. Send this together with photos/videos, including of the appliance’s model sticker. This can usually be found on the edge of the door, inside or on the rear of the appliance.

As long as the property allows for this and nothing has been agreed to the contrary, guests are permitted to stay on an occasional basis. The tenant remains responsible for both the guests and the property.

The answer on this question can be found in article 2 of the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 3 of the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement.

The tenancy agreement must be terminated by means of a signed letter of notice. You can find a template here. You need to take the agreed period of notice into account. Termination is only possible per the end of the month (i.e. not as of 14 March, for example, but as of 31 March). If the tenant terminates the agreement and more than one tenant is named on the agreement, each individual tenant must sign the letter of notice. According to the tenancy agreement, the letter of notice must be sent by bailiff’s notification or registered post. Are you a tenant? Check with your landlord/manager whether sending the signed termination letter per e-mail (with confirmation of receipt) is also sufficient.

You need to report the loss of any keys to your landlord/manager. If the landlord/manager has a spare key, you might be able to use this in case of missing keys or locking yourself out. If the landlord/manager cannot be reached (e.g. outside office hours), you’ll need to call in a professional, certified locksmith to replace the locks. You can find one on the CCV website, for instance.

The landlord/manager must receive a copy of the keys for the new locks as soon as possible. It may be necessary to replace all the locks anyway following the loss of (one of the) keys on security grounds.

This depends on the type of tenancy agreement and the existing arrangements between the tenant and landlord. In principle, the terms and conditions for giving notice are stated in the tenancy agreement (article 2 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and articles 1.5 and 3 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement). Our advice is to contact the landlord/manager for more information.

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Tenancy agreement

This depends on the type of tenancy agreement and the existing arrangements between the tenant and landlord. In principle, the terms and conditions for giving notice are stated in the tenancy agreement (article 2 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and articles 1.5 and 3 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement). Our advice is to contact the landlord/manager for more information.

Unless otherwise agreed, this is not permitted, other than minor alterations that can easily be reversed at the end of the rental period. This is also stated in article 6.4 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 11.2 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement.

The period of notice doesn’t need to be added on after the end date. The tenancy agreement states the date on which it may be terminated. Example: the tenancy agreement gives the end date of 30 April and a period of notice of one calendar month applies. In this case, notice needs to be given no later than 31 March for the tenancy agreement to end on 30 April.

Many tenancy agreements include a period in which the agreement may not be terminated. The tenancy agreement states the date from which it may be terminated (article 2 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 1.5 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement). The dates in the tenancy agreement are always termination dates so if, for instance, the tenancy agreement gives 30 April as an end date and you wish to terminate it as of that date, the landlord/manager will need to receive your notice no later than 31 March.

The answer on this question can be found in article 2 of the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 3 of the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement.

The tenancy agreement must be terminated by means of a signed letter of notice. You can find a template here. You need to take the agreed period of notice into account. Termination is only possible per the end of the month (i.e. not as of 14 March, for example, but as of 31 March). If the tenant terminates the agreement and more than one tenant is named on the agreement, each individual tenant must sign the letter of notice. According to the tenancy agreement, the letter of notice must be sent by bailiff’s notification or registered post. Are you a tenant? Check with your landlord/manager whether sending the signed termination letter per e-mail (with confirmation of receipt) is also sufficient.

The first payment is normally made directly to Interhouse. The tenant will receive a receipt for this. More information on this can be found in the tenancy agreement (article 3.4 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 1.6 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement). Subsequent rent payments are made to the landlord/manager. The correct banking details can be found in the tenancy agreement (article 3.2 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 1.1 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement).

Interhouse is present during the check-in. We inspect the property and often compile a digital photo report. The property’s condition is recorded in detail and any defects are noted. In addition, the keys are handed over and the meter readings noted. Both the tenant and the landlord sign the inspection report.

This is only possible with the permission of the landlord. The request must be made in writing and signed by both departing and remaining tenants. The landlord/manager also needs to receive the remaining tenant’s income details to assess whether they can pay the rent on their own. The landlord is legally entitled to refuse permission for letting the property solely to the remaining tenant or if applicable to a replacement tenant. It is possible that costs will be incurred, for instance for drawing up an addendum containing this amendment.

Periods of notice are usually expressed in calendar months. This means a period that runs from the first up to and including the last day of a month. It therefore makes no difference if notice is given at the start, halfway through or at the end of the month, the period of notice will always start after the last day of the month in which notice is given. Example: notice is given on a tenancy agreement on 15 March and a period of notice of one calendar month applies. In this case, the tenancy agreement ends on 30 April.

You can find the period of notice in the tenancy agreement (article 2 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 3 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement). The period of notice is always expressed in calendar months; please also see the question “What is meant by a period of notice of one or more calendar month(s)?”

On the tenancy agreement’s start date, but the keys are explicitly only handed over after Interhouse has received the first month’s rent and the deposit.

With the exception of the short-term tenancy agreement (for a fixed period of a maximum of 2 years/model B), a tenancy agreement never ends automatically. This is laid down in law.

Costs/prices

No, this is not an option (with the exception of a few specific projects). The tenant needs to set up an automatic transfer order via their bank so that the monthly rent can be paid automatically.

These are all the costs charged by the landlord on top of the basic rent. These might include furnishings, furniture, an advance for gas/water/electricity etc. These costs are called ‘the sum to cover the additional deliveries and services’ in the tenancy agreement.

Annually or at the end of the rental period. Some landlords opt to do this at a fixed time in the year and others do it for the first time after a full year of rental. The tenant’s actual consumption is calculated based on the initial and final meter readings and current utility rates. The advance payments are deducted from this and the difference is either reimbursed to or paid by the tenant. If the individual residential units do not each contain a separate meter, a fair allocation formula is applied.

The deposit is repaid once it’s clear whether any costs need to be deducted. The maximum term for this is stated in the tenancy agreement/general terms and conditions (article 6.2 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 11.3 in the General terms and conditions of the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement).

Any repairs, inspections and replacement costs are for the account of the landlord. However, tasks such as topping up and bleeding the system, replacing filters and cleaning need to be done by the tenant.

This is laid down in law. More information on this can be found on the central government website. The basic principle is that minor defects (irrespective of the cause) to the rental property that a capable tenant can repair themselves and involve low costs are to be repaired by the tenant at their own expense. Even if the tenant is unable to repair the minor defect themselves, they should call someone in at their own expense to repair it professionally.

This depends on the municipality or water board area in which the property stands. Levies that relate to use of the rental property are for the account of the tenant. Examples include waste, water system and in some municipalities sewerage charges. Account is taken here of the number of people registered at the address. If everyone is registered correctly, this should occur automatically as the tenant and landlord will each receive their own assessment notice. If this is incorrectly allocated on the assessment, for whatever reason, it may be charged in retrospect.

Tenants need to know exactly what they are paying for. Basic rent is paid on the property and on top of that an amount is paid for deliveries and services for all additional facilities. These might include furnishings, furniture or if applicable an advance for utilities, such as gas/water/electricity.

Maintenance/technical

Unless otherwise agreed, this is not permitted, other than minor alterations that can easily be reversed at the end of the rental period. This is also stated in article 6.4 in the standard Interhouse tenancy agreement and article 11.2 in the Interhouse letting agents Amsterdam VVA tenancy agreement.

It is important to bleed the heating system annually. If a bubbling sound can be heard during heating, the radiators must be bled also. A home is up to temperature more quickly if there is no air in the radiators and/or pipes. This is something a tenant must take care of himself.

Bleeding the installation and topping up the boiler belong together. When the boiler has been topped up, the radiators must be bled. Then always check the water pressure of the boiler after bleeding, because it may have dropped due to bleeding, which means that the boiler must be refilled again.

The step-by-step plan for bleeding the heating installation (and an instruction video):
1. Turn on all radiators in the house and turn on the heating by turning the thermostat high. Wait for the radiators to feel hot.
2. Switch off the heating system and pull the plug out of the socket.
3. Wait about 15 minutes or until the radiators feel cold. Meanwhile, find the radiator key for the valves on the radiators.
4. Start by bleeding the lowest radiator in the house. Hold a cloth and/or container under the valve or vent tap (normally located on the top side of a radiator) and open the valve. Release the air and close the valve as soon as a continuous stream of water appears (CAUTION! This can be hot!). Finish the radiators from low to high, air always escapes upwards.
5. Plug the heating system plug back into the wall socket.
6. Set the room thermostat back to the desired setting.
7. Check the water pressure on the boiler. A pressure of 1.5 to 2 bar is good. If the pressure is higher than 2, you must drain water. If the pressure is too low, you must top up the boiler.
8. Do you hear bubbling noises while the radiators are heating? Then there is still air in the system. Then bleed the system again by starting from step 1 again.

If the above does not work or if there are doubts about the correct procedure, we recommend contacting an installation company or expert for advice.

First check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to see if the defect is included in the list. Minor defects don’t always need to be reported but should be rectified by the tenant themselves. Other defects need to be reported to the landlord/manager immediately by the tenant (preferably by E-mail). The problem needs to be described as fully as possible. Don’t forget to state what you’ve already done to try and rectify the situation, any specific error codes, when the problem started, the frequency of the problem etc. Also send photos/videos to clarify the notification.

First consult the manual for the specific model of central heating boiler. For general instructions, please see the instructions for Vaillant models here.

The first thing to do is clear the condensation drain. It’s likely that this is blocked. You’ll find the condensation drain at the bottom and rear inside of the fridge. It’s also a good idea not to place products against the side or rear walls of the fridge or overfill it.

The damage can only be repaired once everything has dried out thoroughly. This depends on many factors and will certainly take a few weeks. Moreover, in many cases the landlord/manager will in turn be dependent on an insurer.

First check our frequently asked questions (FAQs) to see if the defect is included in the list.

There are a few things you can check for yourself first:

  • Is the appliance plugged in (properly)?
  • Check the fuse box: have any of the switches tripped?
  • Does resetting the appliance help? Some appliances have a reset function for this. Others need to have the power switched off for 30 minutes.
  • Are the filters blocked or do they need cleaning?

If you’ve tried all of this and the problem still hasn’t been resolved, you can report the problem (preferably by E-mail) to the landlord/manager. Don’t forget to state what you’ve already done to try and rectify the situation, any specific error codes, when the problem started, the frequency of the problem etc. Send this together with photos/videos, including of the appliance’s model sticker. This can usually be found on the edge of the door, inside or on the rear of the appliance.

In the event of problems with gas installations, the most important thing is to establish whether there is a leak. It’s usually easy to smell a gas leak. If this is the case, immediately turn off the gas at the mains (this will be near the gas meter) and phone the National service number 0800-9009. A sputtering gas hob or one that isn’t working is often caused by dirt. Clean the separate components of the gas hob, making sure you dry everything thoroughly before putting it back together and checking whether the problem has been resolved. If not, notify your landlord/manager by E-mail and include more information and photos of the model/brand so that a technician can be called in if necessary.

First of all, determine which system is heated or supplying your home with hot water. Regardless of the type of appliance, there are a number of things that must be checked to determine the cause of the malfunction:

  • Are the fuses still intact and is the Residual Current Device (RCD, or residual current circuit breaker) in your meter cupboard still on?
  • Is the thermostat working? It can be that the batteries are empty or that the wireless connection has been lost, so that no signal is passed on to the boiler. See the thermostat manual to find out how to solve this.
  • Is the temperature on the room thermostat set high enough?
  • Does the thermostat have a digital display? Check if it shows strange messages/error codes. If so, find out what it means in the manual.
  • Have the (thermostat) knobs of the radiators been turned open and have the radiators been bled? For more information about venting the installation, see the question “How can the heating system be bled?”.
  • Are there any hot water taps leaking somewhere?
  • Has it been extremely cold outside or is it now? Then it may be that the pipes are or have been frozen. If you suspect this, please contact us immediately.

If the above matters are all in order and your home is heated/supplied with hot water by a central heating unit, the unit itself can be examined for malfunctions:

  • Is the gas valve open? If no, then open this one unless there is a reason why the gas valve has been turned off.
  • Is the power plug in the socket? If no, plug it in unless there is some reason why the power has been interrupted.
  • In case of an older type of boiler: does the pilot light burn? If not, look in the manual of the boiler or contact your landlord/manager.
  • In case of a more modern boiler: is a fault reported on the display? If so, find out what the malfunction is in the manual and how you can solve it yourself.
  • Is the water pressure high enough? The pressure must be between 1.5 and 2 bar. If the pressure is too low, please refer to the question “How to top up the central heating boiler when the pressure gets too low?”.
  • Does the boiler and/or radiators produce a strange noise? Then it may be that the heating system has to be bled. For this, look as stated above under the question “How can the heating system be bled?”.
  • Is there no demonstrable reason for the malfunction? Then reset the installation by pressing the reset button or removing the plug from the socket for 30 minutes.

If the malfunction cannot be resolved despite the tips mentioned above, the malfunction can be reported (preferably by e-mail) to the landlord/manager. Indicate what you’ve already tried yourself, whether there are certain error codes, since when the problem has occurred, what the frequency of the problem is, etc. Also include photos/videos to clarify the problem.

First check the fuse box:

When the Residual Current Device (RCD, or residual current circuit breaker) has been tripped:

  1. Switch off all the groups of circuits corresponding to the RCD by flipping the group switches in the fuse box to ‘off’.
  2. Also switch off all electrical appliances and lights, either by pulling out the plugs or flipping their switches to ‘off’.
  3. Flip the tripped RCD and then the group switches to ‘on’.
  4. Switch on the appliances one by one until the RCD trips again. This will tell you which appliance is causing the problem.
  5. If none of the appliances is causing a problem, contact your landlord/manager so they can call in a certified technician to check whether there is something wrong with the system.

When an individual fuse has been tripped:

  1. Switch off the group of circuits corresponding to the tripped fuse by flipping the group switch to ‘off’.
  2. Also switch off the electrical appliances and lights in the group, either by pulling out the plugs or flipping their switches to ‘off’.
  3. Replace the tripped fuse or flip the switch to ‘on’ again.
  4. Switch on the appliances one by one until the fuse or switch trips again. This will tell you which appliance is causing the problem.
  5. If none of the appliances is causing a problem, contact your landlord/manager so they can call in a certified technician to check whether there is something wrong with the system.

If no switches or fuses are tripped in your fuse box, there could be a power cut affecting the whole street or area. You can check this by asking whether your neighbours have power. If they don’t, report the power cut to your network operator via 0800-9009. You can also obtain more information via this number.

First try to remove the blockage by pouring a bucket of hot water and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) into the blocked drain and letting it sit for a while. We advise against using other unblocking agents as these can damage the pipes. If hot water and sodium bicarbonate don’t work, a professional drain cleaning service needs to be called. The costs for this are in principle for the account of the tenant unless the cause of the blockage lies outside the property.

Prevention is better than a cure, so make sure you use drains in the correct manner. Items that definitely shouldn’t be disposed of in drains include:

  • Leftover food
  • Rubbish
  • Kitchen towel and wet wipes
  • Hygiene products
  • Excessive amounts of toilet paper
  • Grease and hair

Pipes
First of all, shut off the mains water supply as quickly as possible by turning off the stop valve. This can often be found next to the water meter inside the property or in the meter box. Open all the taps on the ground floor (if there is one) to remove surplus water from the pipes. Mop up as much water as possible in order to prevent further damage. Report the leak to the landlord/manager so that a technician can be called in.

Sewerage/waste
Is the leak caused by a blockage? If so, the blockage needs to be dealt with first. Please see the question “What to do in the event of a blockage?”. If there’s no blockage or the cause cannot be established, the leak needs to be reported to the landlord/manager, including a photo/video that clearly shows the location of the leak.

Leak caused by heavy rainfall
This type of leak needs to be reported to the landlord/manager immediately. A leaking roof is often caused by a blocked rainwater drain/gutter. The tenant is responsible for ensuring drainpipes do not become blocked. It’s important to check gutters and rainwater drains twice a year and keep them clean.

You need to report the loss of any keys to your landlord/manager. If the landlord/manager has a spare key, you might be able to use this in case of missing keys or locking yourself out. If the landlord/manager cannot be reached (e.g. outside office hours), you’ll need to call in a professional, certified locksmith to replace the locks. You can find one on the CCV website, for instance.

The landlord/manager must receive a copy of the keys for the new locks as soon as possible. It may be necessary to replace all the locks anyway following the loss of (one of the) keys on security grounds.

If the rental property is a single-family dwelling, you may buy a nameplate yourself. This can be ordered via a specialist dealer or online. When affixing the name plate make sure it can be removed at a later date without causing any damage.

If the property is part of a complex, this usually needs to be arranged via the residents’ association (Vereniging van Eigenaren, or VvE). You can submit a request for this to the landlord/manager.

Other

As long as the property allows for this and nothing has been agreed to the contrary, guests are permitted to stay on an occasional basis. The tenant remains responsible for both the guests and the property.

When handing over the keys it’s mandatory to provide the tenant with a copy of a valid energy label. Please see the Interhouse factsheet for more information on energy labels and indices. Interhouse employees can also give you customised advice on this.

Tenants can put aside any post addressed to the landlord and notify the landlord/manager. They will indicate what should be done with this. All other post, including post for former residents, can be sent return to sender.

Our initial advice is to approach the person causing the nuisance, explain to them in a friendly manner that their behaviour is bothering you and ask them to stop. It may be that the person causing the nuisance has no idea of the impact their behaviour is having. If this fails to yield results (after repeated attempts), you can turn to the police or municipality. You can report this to the landlord/manager but they have no influence over nuisance caused by third parties.

It is important to choose the right insurance to keep the risk of unexpected costs as low as possible. The basic principle is that each party is insured for his or her belongings.

Landlord
The two most important insurance contracts for rented real estate are building insurance and liability insurance.

Building insurance
In the case of rented real estate, the landlord is the person who must take care of building insurance. However, there are other things to pay attention to when the owner of a building is not living in the property himself. It is important to check carefully in advance with the current home insurer whether it is possible to insure the rented property and what needs to be arranged for this. If, after a damage, it turns out that the property is rented out while this is not known to the building insurance, many insurers will immediately refuse payment.

Liability insurance
It may sound strange, but the (rented) property can also cause damage to third parties. Examples include roof tiles falling down or a handrail that comes loose when someone walks up the stairs. Here too it is important that the insurance company is aware that the house is being rented out.

Contents insurance
If the property is rented furnished or semi furnished, it is also possible to insure the contents on a contents insurance (inventory goods insurance). Floors that have been installed floating are part of the contents and can therefore also be insured. Please note that on these types of policies there is often only coverage for storm, fire, theft (after traces of burglary), water damage, etc. Damages caused by a tenant are therefore not covered. In addition, somewhat older household effects will also be depreciated. This is taken into account when paying out claims. Therefore, carefully consider whether the risk/(day) value of the contents is large enough to insure.

Tenant

Contents insurance
If a tenant has his own household effects in the house, it is advisable to insure these by means of household contents insurance. With this, the items are insured against damage caused by fire, storm, water or burglary. There are also All-Risk insurance policies where you are insured if you or someone else in your household accidentally causes damage yourself.
In addition, somewhat older household effects will also be depreciated. This is taken into account when paying out claims. You should therefore carefully consider whether the risk/(day) value of the household effects is large enough to insure.

Liability insurance
A liability insurance is always advisable, but a tenant can never recover anything from his or her liability insurance if there is damage in the property that has been caused by himself.

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