Legal Aspects Of Buying Property In Rotterdam

Before you purchase a house in any part of the world, you must understand the property market, the taxing process, and the renting status of the area under discussion. This is vital for making an informed decision since housing costs can take a large share of your earnings. But when you come across a house for sale in Rotterdam, paying attention to several issues can be overwhelming. So, we have brought you in this article some of the most important topics related to buying or renting a property in Rotterdam so that you have a complete overview.

The Property Market In Rotterdam

Rotterdam is home to numerous companies and universities and is a popular place to live due to its great housing possibilities. The rent is around 20% cheaper in Rotterdam compared to Amsterdam, and also, the living costs are much lower. But finding the right place to stay and the perfect house for sale in Rotterdam can be a big challenge because it is a popular housing destination, which becomes all the more difficult if you are in another country. 

Buying A House

Although the Netherlands does not have any restrictions on property ownership for people of different nationalities, and you can purchase a house even if you live in another country, you are still required to pay a lot more transfer tax and property tax if you are not going to move in your property immediately. Another challenge you may encounter is the mortgage, as the provider mostly issues mortgages only to people who have been residing in the Netherlands for at least five years. However, some lenders issue mortgages to people who have been in the country for less time, but it will cost much more as it is considered riskier. So you can look for specialist mortgage providers who realize the value of the housing market sector. We can conclude that expat mortgages are possible but require stronger proof that you are a reliable borrower. 

Also, it would help if you were an EEA or EU citizen with a permanent work contract; you and your partner should be a resident in the Netherlands. Self-employed people can also get a mortgage by showing proof of their income over the past three years.  

Property Tax And Transfer Tax In Rotterdam

Remember that you need to pay transfer tax right at the time of purchasing a house. The transfer will be 8% if you are not moving in immediately. The property owner and the users/tenants of business properties also have to pay property tax, according to the OZB (Onroerende-Zaakbelasting), which is based on the official value (WOZ) of the property determined by the government. However, there is an exemption if the property value is under €400,000 and you are between 18 and 35 years of age. This value is usually below the actual market value but is a fair way of calculating tax. 

Residential property owners in Rotterdam need to pay 0.0774% of the WOZ for the property. Remember that this value is revised and updated at the beginning of each year. Non-residential property owners and users are liable to pay property tax at different rates, i.e., 0.3574% of WOZ for the owner and 0.2546% of WOZ for the property user. However, the tax rate for OZB can change each year as per the prevailing economic conditions as well as the ability of the people to afford it.

Short Term Rent

One thing you may not know about moving to the Netherlands is if you are going to stay for more than four months, you are required to register with the municipality, as per Dutch law, within the first five days of your arrival. But this 5-day period is never enough to complete the formalities given that you need to make an appointment for the registration. Also, this process may take longer than five days. For this reason, allowances are made in such situations. You must show proof of residence when you register, but how can it be possible since you have just arrived here? This is why you need immediate accommodation that allows you to register.

The challenges of moving from abroad and finding accommodation can be dealt with the help of real estate agents that provide short-stay and expat rentals. Well, the best way out is to have a short-stay rental apartment, which is perfect for the first six months. But you need to check if they will allow you to register with the municipality, which should not be a problem until you have a legal tenancy agreement. 

Bottom Line

The best thing to do to find a house to buy or rent will be to work with a real estate agent with a strong base in Rotterdam. Make sure that you choose someone with experience and who knows about the legal whereabouts of buying a house in the Netherlands.

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