9 things that can go wrong in your Dutch house

Life happens. 🤷‍♀️

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Whether you’re buying or renting a home in the Netherlands, there are many things that you can encounter that are… less than ideal. 

Pests, leaks, mould, loud neighbours — the list goes on. Besides these things being pretty unwelcome in our homes, fixing or getting rid of them can be costly.

1. Your roof might start to leak 🔨

You may have heard, but believe it or not, it occasionally rains in the Netherlands! That, plus the old Dutch houses, can be a recipe for disaster (by which we mean a leak).

Young-man-collecting-leaking-water-from-ceiling-while -his-girlfriend-calling-roof-repair-service-in-kitchen
Once a roof leaks, it’s a pain to get it fixed. Image: Depositphotos

Then, you’re left with water damage, energy inefficiency, and a huge repair bill. How huge? Well, that depends. 

Finding the leak itself can be €300 to €400 alone, and the costs of repair can easily run the bill over €1000.

Add to that all the costs of repairing the water damage to furniture around it, and your bill can easily run into the thousands. That’s a fat check.

Univé helps take this financial weight off your shoulders with their home insurance policy. It takes just five minutes to set up! Find the best plan for you. 

2. You could fall down your narrow Dutch stairs 🪂

The Dutch are often thin and tall, just like their homes. But what doesn’t make sense is how those steps can even contain more than half of their feet. How do they not fall down the stairs more often?

These Dutch stairs don’t mess around! Image: DutchReview

Well, it can happen. These narrow and steep stairs can be a safety hazard, especially for us internationals who aren’t used to them. One misstep and — woops!

3. You could get some unwelcome guests 🐀

Many Dutch houses are a little too familiar with pests. Mice, moths, or rats, these little guys have no sense of privacy or personal space, and Dutch houses can be particularly susceptible to these pests.

They steal your food and don’t even pitch in on the grocery bill! How rude. Image: Depositphotos

This isn’t just gross; it can also be dangerous. These infestations can cause structural damage and health hazards for those in the infested houses. We doubt anyone wants to eat food that’s been chewed on by a mouse!

(Now it makes sense why cats are so popular in the Netherlands.)

4. You could damage things that aren’t yours 🪟

Accidents happen. Maybe when you were trying to move that couch up the stairs, the legs hit the wall, and now you have a dent. There goes a chunk of your rental deposit.

For example, sometimes your perfect pooch can do some damage. Image: Depositphotos

Or maybe you own your home and decided to give your place a funky renovation — and accidentally drilled a hole straight through to the next-door neighbour’s house. 

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Sometimes, those come at a (literal) price. But that’s what liability insurance is for — covering you when you get yourself in a sticky situation. To find the best policy for you, compare plans at on Univés site. Their plans cost as little as €3.63 per month!

5. Strangers might catch a glimpse of you in your birthday suit 🫢

The Dutch are famously somewhat opposed to curtains, and we get why. After living in the Netherlands for a while, you just want to make the most of Dutch daylight.

Those gorgeous windows tend to be left open… which can lead to accidental flashing. Image: Depositphotos

It’s all fun and games until you change your clothes after work and your neighbours become, um, a bit too familiar with you, if you know what we mean.

6. You may have to deal with dampness… and mould 💧

As much as we love those big windows, they don’t always have the best insulation, which can lead to mould.

It’s pretty frustrating to have to deal with mould. Image: DutchReview

You try to keep it under control, but you can’t help but wonder if you’ll get your rental deposit back or if your landlord will blame you for it (God forbid they ever fix anything!).

But to be fair, mould can be expensive to fix. Whether it’s changing the windows or repainting the mouldy parts of your walls, it can cost some money. Why is being an adult so expensive?

7. You could have noisy neighbours 📣

The Netherlands is very densely populated, especially in the cities. As a result, people often have neighbours above them, beneath them, and to their left and right.

Upset-woman-annoyed-about-loud-music-disturbing-her-sleep-at home-girl-yelling-and-cover-ears-with-hands-in-annoyance-noisy-neighbors-suffering-loud-neighbour-noise-at-night-noise-pollution
We’ve all been awake at 3 AM begging for silence. Image: Depositphotos

Sharing a wall with your neighbour can lead to some annoying situations. Maybe your shower-singing is a little louder than you realised, or maybe their attempts to learn the trumpet don’t seem to be going that well. Either way, someone is unhappy.

8. Your house could have structural issues 🏚️

Dutch houses are old. Like, really old. So, they can face structural problems like foundation issues, subsidence, or cracks in the walls. 

Nothing worse than moving into a new place and finding out it’s got structural issues! Image: Depositphotos

The fact that they’re built on water doesn’t help with this issue, and let’s face it, sometimes houses are just built cheaply. 

All these things can lead to some pretty frustrating issues you’ll have to deal with — make sure your house is strong before you rent or buy it, or you could be facing a hefty bill!

9. You might have to deal with plumbing issues 🪠

We saved the best for last: plumbing. A toilet doesn’t flush, a sink drain is clogged, and there’s air in your pipes. 

Sometimes, you need an expert. Image: Freepik

Sometimes, these things are just out of your control, especially because Dutch houses are built so close to each other. Often, apartments will share pipes, and suddenly, one person’s problem becomes everyone’s problem.

Clearly, a lot can go wrong in your Dutch home. Who said Dutch houses were great?

What’s the worst issue you’ve faced in your Dutch home? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Julia de Oliveira Moritz
Julia de Oliveira Moritz
Júlia was born in Brazil, but she’s been away for more than half her life. At five years old, she moved to Nigeria, and at 14, she came to the Netherlands. She came for her education and stayed for… something. She’s not sure if that something is the vibrant springtime or the live music bars. All she knows is that this is her new home, at least for now.

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