Overbidding increasingly common on rental market

The practice of overbidding has spilled over from the owner-occupied housing market to rental homes in the Netherlands, NOS reports after speaking to brokers and intermediaries. Bidding more than the asked rent is already common in Amsterdam and increasingly happening in the other large cities. It is less of an issue outside the Randstad and Eindhoven.

“Nowadays, it happens here more often than not,” Sijmon de Boer of the Amsterdam broker Van Huis Uit told the broadcaster. “It was an absolute exception until corona, but as there is more scarcity on the rental market, we see it more and more often.”

“You can see that the market is, unfortunately, taking advantage of the situation,” De Boer said. “The rent is a ‘from’ price, and the landlord welcomes it if someone offers more.”

Dimitry Jansen of JLG Real Estate in the capital called overbidding on rentals commonplace. “For example, an apartment had a market rent of 2,000 euros. But it was rented to someone who offered 200 euros more per month. €300 more have also happened. Overbidding by about 10 percent is not unusual.”

Other cities are also noticing the phenomenon. “It was not common here until the end of last year,” said Emiel Niessen of Starthousing in Utrecht. “It was more an Amsterdam thing, but since this year, it has become the rule rather than the exception.” It is usually international knowledge workers who overbid, he said. “But we also see Dutch tenants doing it more and more often. It is often about 50 or 100 euros more. But I have also experienced 200 or 250 euros more.”

“Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often,” Ruud Kooijman of Rotterdam Rental Service said. “But if you have two candidates with good income documents and one bids higher, the landlord will prefer that one.”

A realtor in The Hague told NOS that potential tenants offer higher amounts themselves. “They then ask: if I bid more, do I have a better chance.”

Brokers attribute the overbidding to the increasingly tight rental market. Fewer and fewer rentals are available as investors withdraw from the Dutch market and private landlords sell their properties. The wealth tax on rental properties in box 3 increased, and the government plans to regulate part of the free market.

In the Housing Minister’s plans, rental properties are awarded points based on their size and quality, and the points determine the maximum rent. Those rules will apply up to 187 points, associated with rent of about 1,100 euros.

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