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Several Dutch organisations would encourage the introduction of a quality mark for companies offering services to expats. According to them, in many cases expats encounter problems due to poor services or even misleading or fraudulent behaviour.

Indeed there is a huge amount of websites offering services to expats. Housing, immigration services, fiscal services, the new arriving expat has a tough job in sorting out reliable partners. The official Expatcenter amsterdam, part of iamsterdam.com, states that with a stunning 99 % of the expats moving to Amsterdam, something went wrong in the housing procedures.

Indeed the housing and rental rules in Holland are complicated, specially in Amsterdam and even more for expats. How do you know the maximum allowed rental price fora n appartment? Can you go to the huurcommissie to ask a lower rent? Or of you own a place, how can you rent this out without risks?

It might be difficult though, to give points to reliable service companies. How do you measure their quality? I would encourage the governmental organisations to offer excellent information through their websites, and perhaps work with lists of preferred partners. To new arriving expats I suggest to get to know other expats through social networks, and collect experiences of reliable service points. In the end it is like any other product, you have to select the good from the dudgy.

Carel Erasmus