When buying a home in Amsterdam, it’s very likely that you’ll become a member of a Homeowners Association. The Association of Owners in the Netherlands is responsible for the communal parts of the building like the halls, roof, pipes, walls, stairs, etc. You pay a contribution to the VvE for maintenance, insurance and communal expenses. Remco Panman, MVA Certified Expat Broker, will tell you all about it.
Owner’s association (VvE)
In Amsterdam, residential properties are often part of a bigger housing complex, and the number of individual properties houses are limited. These complexes have different ownership structures and can be registered as a whole or divided in separate legal units. During the different periods of Amsterdam’s expansion, many properties were built for rental purposes and not to sell separately. Registering an entire property as a housing complex at the Land Registry (Kadaster in Dutch) restricts the possibility to sell separate units. To do so, the complex with different apartments needs to be divided into single legal units, which need to be registered in the Land Registry as unique entities, part of the complex.
This division of apartment rights must comply with local permits and procedures and provide some form of guarantee that the state of the building is proven satisfactory according to actual building standards. The legal division is drawn up in a document by a solicitor (splitsingsakte).
If a housing complex is divided into separate legal units, a Homeowners Association is obliged by law. It must be registered at the Chamber of Commerce, actively managed and save approximately 0.5% over the insured value per year. Depending on the size of the HOA, this management can be outsourced or not. A multi-year maintenance scheme is also obliged by law. The HOA should meet with its members once a year, address issues to discuss and report these in the minutes. Together with the financial statements, the full annual report must be available to candidate buyers, allowing them to perform their due diligence.
If you consider buying an apartment in the Netherlands, make sure you are informed on the affairs within the VvE and ask your MVA Certified Expat Broker for help if needed. It’s important to investigate the current situation properly, although these documents will mainly be in Dutch. Your agent will help you to do this carefully, because when you buy an apartment, you’ll get the neighbours and all other matters involved with it added in for free!