Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Learning Dutch (3)

Almere, Tussen de Vaarten, Grunewaldstraat

From Almere (III)

Let me share with you how we rented our first house, the Dutch words I learned and the big surprises we had along the way...

We found a flat to rent three days after arriving in Amsterdam.

In our meeting with the real estate agent, we saw that the huurovereenkomst [renting contract/contrato de arrendamento] was written in Dutch. This second clash with the language was huge. We are talking about several pages of legal terms.

We agreed that our real estate agent would translate the main points for us to avoid more costs with an interpreter.

He explained to us that we and the landlord were the ondergetekenden [signing parties/ as partes contratantes].

A lady from Groningen was the eigenaar [flat owner/proprietária].

She would be our verhuurder [landlord/senhorio] and we her huurders [tenants/inquilinos].

The huurovereenkomst [renting contract/ contrato de arrendamento] would define the huurprijs [rent/renda], the huurbetaling [rent payment/ pagamento da renda], the periode of geldigheid [validity/validade] and the date and the conditions for the sleuteloverdracht [ key delivery/entrega da chave].

He also explained that the woonruimte [habitação/dwelling] would be rented voor bepaalde tijd [por tempo determinado/ for a certain periode], in this case, one year, and if everything would come along for both parts, we could have three more years of verlenging [extension/prolongamento].

He also told us that if we wanted to leave the flat before the end of the contract, we should send a two months schriftelijke opzegging [written previous notice/ aviso-prévio por escrito] to the landlord.
If the landlord would want to do the same, she should notice us within three months.

Finally, we needed to pay a waarborgsom [guarantee/caução] which will be returned to us if we decided to leave the appartement and everything would be ok within.

Even today, there are so many words which I don't understand in the renting contract. However, I feel more comfortable reading it, as I could experience a couple of days ago when I was organizing my archive.

Besides the difficulty to understand the language, we were facing, by then, a different renting law. It was a huge surprise for me to find out we wouldn't get a monthly receipt and we couldn't put the rent in the IRS forms.
However, the biggest surprise of all was finding out we need to pay to the real estate agent.
Suddenly, we became aware that we needed to pay not two, but three rents at the same time to get the contract and the house.

After a very deep breath, we went to the bank.


Aledys Ver said...

And did you also need to be first registered at the "gemeente"? I can imagine, here sometimes they have so many rules overlapping each other, that it's like walking in circles. I remember when I was doing my paperwork to get my residence permit, they would not give it unless I had health insurance, but I couldn't get health insurance without a residence permit :D
I have to say that you were quite lucky, bec. having to sign papers trusting that everyone would not try to take advantage of you, requires a certain amount of courage...

Presépio no Canal said...

Aledys, exactly! "Walking on circles"! Later, I will tell the rest of the story. And yes, we needed to have some courage to sign the renting contract...but I felt I could trust him... :-)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dearest, you are brave but also very SMART and how you got through this is a gift. Language and especially WORKING WITH IT and using it for REAL LIFE circumstances requires a keen mind...and you have it!!!! BRAVO! Anita

Presépio no Canal said...

@ Thank you, dear Anita :-)) I have so much to learn yet...

Invader Stu said...

This reminds me of what I tell my wife. There is complicated Dutch and then there is really really complicated Dutch (anything to do with banking, housing, tax, stuff like that).

Presépio no Canal said...

Exactly, Stu! Good point! ;-)))
Wait for the next posts. I'm preparing more posts about taxes, banks and stuff like that.
Maybe I will need help and have questions. Sometimes I feel like a donkey looking at the palace, as we say in my country...