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Agency accommodation in the Netherlands. How to live in harmony with your flatmates?

Agency accommodation in the Netherlands.
How to live in harmony with your flatmates?

28 September, 2022

Sharing a room or flat can be a hassle, whether it’s in your home country or abroad. However, when six or more people live together, things start to get complicated. What is it like to be using agency accommodation in the Netherlands?How to deal with difficult flatmates?

The property market in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has been struggling with housing availability for years. In addition to buying property, the problem also concerns renting. Hundreds of thousands of Dutch people are on waiting lists for housing. The biggest problem is experienced in big cities like Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, where house prices are beyond the average buyer’s reach. For example, house prices in Amsterdam have doubled over the past seven years, averaging more than 0.5 million EUR. Year after year, the property rental market in the Netherlands has been shrinking and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a flat that’s suitable in terms of location and price.

Living in the Netherlands – should you use an agency or not?

When going to work in the Netherlands, one of the first things you need to arrange for is accommodation. As for those emigrating for work for the first time, the vast majority opt for accommodation offered by the employment agency. Why? Because you don’t have to worry about any formalities with the agency handling everything for you. The unquestionable advantage of such an arrangement is that, in most cases, you share a flat with people who work for the same company. What’s more, the agency organises free-of-charge transport to and from work. Also, you don’t have to worry about the deposit for the flat, which can be two to three times the monthly rent. Finally, you aren’t bound by long rental termination periods.

Are there any downsides to agency housing? Less privacy, since more people use common areas such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. You also have no control over who lives with you. You can come across both a very cool crowd who are easy to get along with and party people who won’t let you rest in peace after a day’s work.

Maintenance of cleanliness in an agency flat

One of the most common causes of conflict in rented flats is the issue of tidying up. Living together means sharing available space, such as the bathroom, kitchen, living room, or terrace. However, not everyone understands that they are responsible for the cleanliness of their bedroom and the condition of the common areas or the disposal of the rubbish.

Agency housing in the Netherlands has its own regulations, which make it clear that all tenants are responsible for their mess. Cleanliness inspections in such flats are carried out once a week and the agency can impose a financial penalty in case of repeated failure to keep the flat tidy. Bearing this in mind, it’s a good idea for all the tenants living together to develop a schedule for cleaning communal areas, thus avoiding unnecessary stress and extra costs.

If you live in the Netherlands, you should also pay attention to the municipal services’ schedule for emptying the rubbish bins. In the event uncollected rubbish is accumulated, the costs connected with emptying the bins off schedule will be paid jointly by all residents of the house. A rubbish disposal schedule hung in a well-visible place should solve the problem.

Rules of social intercourse

Shared living means sharing available space. When your flatmates work with you in the same company and on the same shift, you should agree with them in advance on a schedule for the use of the bathroom or access to the kitchen. The hour-long baths in the morning are out of the equation if four people start work at 8.00 every day and there are only two bathrooms. The same applies to throwing parties and playing loud music. Other people’s right to rest should be respected. It may so happen that the tenant behind the wall is just sleeping off their night shift and doesn’t necessarily feel like listening to your playlist. It’s a good idea to share work schedules, thus avoiding disputes with the other tenants. If in doubt, you can ask your flatmate.

Respect your flatmate – you could have a worse one

Living with other people requires open-mindedness, respect for the other person, and the ability to reach compromise. The more things the flatmates agree on when they just start sharing the flat, the sooner they enjoy a good atmosphere in the common space. It is not worth being at daggers drawn because of an unwashed glass or forgotten laundry. As an adult person, you should be able to communicate your needs and expectations and seek to resolve conflicts. In extreme cases, agency, representatives could be asked for help when dealing with conflict, but you can never be sure that your new tenant will be better than the previous one.

Why strive to get along well with others? When living in the Netherlands, you can meet people from the farthest corners of the world and learn about other religions and cultures. In the process, you can brush up on your language skills and, in time, make friends for life.