Here are 10 practical tips for moving out of your apartment in the Netherlands, from terminating your lease to forwarding your post.
If the time has come to leave the Netherlands, or you are simply moving out of one apartment to move into a new home, then there are things you should do to make the exit as easy as possible. Follow this 10-step guide and moving out of your apartment should go relatively smoothly.
1. Give notice to your landlord
This should be your top priority. You must abide by the terms of your lease agreement and give notice in line with your agreement. There is no standard termination period in the Netherlands so you may find you need to give one, two or even three months notice. Getting the timing right when informing your landlord will mean avoiding paying an additional month of rent unnecessarily. The terms would have been agreed and signed in your lease agreement when moving into the property. Should you have disputes, the local bureaux for legal assistance (Bereau voor Rechtshulp) will be able to provide some helpful advice.
2. Inform the town hall
When moving in the Netherlands you must also inform the Civil Affairs Department at the Town Hall (Stadhuis). They will then remove you from the Register of Population. If you are moving elsewhere in the Netherlands you will then need to reregister at your new town hall, providing your new details within five days of moving into a new home. When registering, you will need to show your passport, a tenancy agreement, birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable).
3. Update your residence permit
All foreign nationals living in the Netherlands for more than three months are required to have a Residence Permit (MVV), but it is only valid if your address is kept up to date. Updating your details is a pretty simple matter – you just need to bring your new rental agreement or other document verifying your new address to the town hall and the police will automatically be informed.
4. Give notice to utility companies
You must notify relevant utility companies to obtain and pay your final bill. In most cases, this can be done in writing or by visiting a local branch in person. You will need to make final payments to your electricity and gas provider and water supplier too. Other utilities include insurances, telephone, Internet and television, and you should contact these suppliers to settle any final bills and close your accounts. You should also notify schools, doctors and banks of your change of address.
5. Update your driving licence and vehicle registration
All drivers will need to inform the Department of Road Transport (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer, RDW) of their change of address in order to update their driving licence. This is typically done by post although there is a telephone service that you can use instead. The same department will also be able to transfer your vehicle registration to your new address. If you are moving outside of the Netherlands, they will be able to assist you with changing the licence plates.
6. Arrange for post forwarding
For a small fee, you can ensure that you miss no mail following your house move as the Netherlands Post Office offers a redirection service. Simply head to your local post office, complete a post redirection form, make the relevant payment and you can rest easy. The payment will differ depending on where the mail is being forward. It is advisable to do this a couple of weeks before you will be leaving the property to give a crossover period. Visit the Netherlands Post Office for more information on the mail forwarding services (www.tntpost.nl).
7. Inform the tax offices
In the Netherlands, most taxes are automatically deducted at source from your salary. But it is advisable to notify the tax office and social security (the Social Insurance Centre, SVB) of your change of address anyway to ensure they hold up to date details for you and your family.
8. Leave the property in good order
Contained in your lease agreement is likely to be a clause included concerning the condition of the property. This requires the property to be left in the same condition as when you moved in. That may mean making minor repairs prior to leaving in order to ensure you get your deposit back.
9. Get your rental deposit back
When moving into a property, it is standard to pay one month’s rent up-front in addition to a deposit of one or two months payment. After leaving the property, providing there are no disputes, you will receive the deposit back, almost certainly processed by bank transfer.
10. Ensure all of your belongings are with you
It might sound a more suitable comment at the end of a flight or train journey, but you should ensure that all of your belongings have been collected before handing the keys back to the landlord or agent. Once you have exited the property and handed over the keys, you may find it difficult to get anything back that you had left behind.