Competition for scarce rental flats in Dutch cities is prompting tenants to offer up to €300 per month above the asking price, estate agents have told NOS.
Sijmon de Boer, of Amsterdam agent Van Huis Uit, said overbidding was almost unheard of before the coronavirus pandemic, but had become increasingly common in recent years.
He blamed the shortage of high-quality rental homes for creating a bidding war, fuelled by pricing strategies.
“We’ve seen that this situation in the market is sadly being used. The rental price has become a starting price and landlords favour those who offer more,” De Boer said.
Primary school teacher Jim Schooneman, who works in Amsterdam but lives with his parents near Enkhuizen, said he had been told by a landlord in Amsterdam-Noord that expats were prepared to pay over the odds to secure a tenancy.
The 26-year-old, who was looking to rent with his partner in the capital, said: “Afterwards he said some of them wanted to pay €600 more, but he was willing to rent it to us if we paid €300 extra.”
Schooneman declined the offer, on a flat with an advertised rent of €1,200, and has since found a home in Hilversum for €975 a month.
Emil Niessen, of Starthousing in Utrecht, said the practice had started to spread to other cities. He said knowledge migrants were more likely to overbid, “but we’re increasingly seeing Dutch tenants doing it. Often it’s an extra €50 or €100, but I’ve seen €200 or €250 extra.”