Frequently asked questions

The tenancy law for housing in the Netherlands is very complicated. This is mainly due to the fact that there are many statutory regulations and because a large number of the statutory regulations contain mandatory law. This means that if the rental agreement deviates from the law, the party that suits it - usually the tenant - can ignore the lease and can invoke the law. This means that if two parties conclude a rental agreement with each other, they cannot always be sure that everything they have agreed on is also legally enforceable.

The reason for the mandatory nature of many statutory regulations is that the legislator believes that the tenant usually has a weaker position compared to the landlord, so that the tenant needs (legal) protection. This legal protection mainly (but not exclusively) relates to the termination of the lease and to the level of the rent.

Make sure you are aware of the latest legislation and regulations if you are a (prospective) landlord. A good rental agency can help you with that.

Below you will find a number of frequently asked questions that all relate to independent living spaces:

Faq
Question and answer

The tenant is largely protected in the Netherlands against termination of the lease by the landlord. The landlord can only terminate the rent in a number of cases, which are accurately described in the law. The most important cancellation grounds are: -the landlord urgently needs the leased property for his own use; -parties have agreed on a fixed-term rental agreement Model C , whereby it has been agreed that the landlord will occupy the property afterwards.

Landlord: If the landlord believes that he has a good reason to terminate the lease, he must do so by means of a registered letter or a bailiff's writ. He must state the reason for the termination. And he must observe a notice period. For a landlord this amounts to a minimum of three months. Plus one month for each year that the tenant has lived in the rental property, with a maximum of six months in total.

Tenant: The tenant, who wants to cancel the rent, has a notice period of one calendar month, assuming that the rent is paid per month. This cannot be deviated from by contract.

In many cases it is possible to agree on a minimum first lease term during which the tenant and / or the landlord cannot cancel the rent. It is also possible to deviate from this, for example if the work of the tenant is moved at least 50 or 100 km from the rented property. This is called a diplomatic clause for the tenant.

Until 1 July 2016, it was only possible to conclude temporary rental agreements in a limited number of cases. Since that date, the possibilities for this have been considerably expanded. Home of Orange uses since then four models for rental agreements:

-Model A: the rental agreement for an indefinite period;
-Model B: the fixed-term rental agreement with a maximum duration of two years;
-Model C: the rental agreement for a definite term (whereby the landlord will occupy the house afterwards);
-Model D: the rental agreement on the basis of the Vacancy Act (when a home is for sale).

These four models all relate to the rental of independent living space. In addition to these four models there are separate rental agreements for a.o. a houseboat, a landlady agreement or a campus contract. These agreements have different regulations.

It is not wise to mention a so-called 'all-in rent' in the rental agreement. It is always advisable to split the basic rent and the costs of additional deliveries and services (service costs) in the rental agreement. If the landlord does not do this, then the tenant may effect a substantial reduction in rent. Also in the more expensive segment, the free sector. Suppose you rent out an apartment in the free sector. The all-in price in the rental agreement is € 1200.00 per month. Even if the house has enough points to rent out in the free sector, the tenant can requests the tenancy committee to make a split in the basic rent and the service costs. In that case, the tenancy committee must determine the (basic) rental price at 55% of the maximum rental price for the house, even if the house has 143 points or more and can therefore be let above the social rental limit of € 720.42. Such rent reduction is never to be made up.

If the landlord, apart from the living space, provides service to the tenant, then it is recommended that all these forms of service are mentioned in the rental agreement. This may include the supply of energy, water, cable television, internet services, hot water, upholstery, furniture, et cetera. A tenant in the social sector has the right to have these service costs assessed by the tenancy committee. The tenant in the free sector also has that right, but for this he cannot go to the tenancy committee, but to court.

Only the actual costs that the landlord has, may be passed on to the tenant in the service costs. Only the home owners association costs (V.V.E. costs ) for the services the tenant actually uses, can be passed to the tenant, such as elevator costs, window cleaning, cleaning of general areas etc. The calculation method of upholstery and furnishing provided by the landlord to the tenant is as follows: first the so-called use value is appraised. Then the total amount involved is divided by 60 (= 5 years of 12 months).

Houses with an initial basic rent of more than € 720.42 per month (price level 2019) are in principle liberalized and can be rented out in the free sector. This means that the housing valuation system (also known as the points system) does not apply to this and the tenancy committee is not authorized to judge the rent.

There is, however, an important exception. The tenant always has the right to request, within six months after the start of the lease, the tenancy committee to determine how many points the property is worth. If the property is worth 143 points or more (this point may be subject to change in the future), then the house is liberalized and the tenancy committee does not give an opinion on the rent. However, if the tenancy committee determines that the property is worth less than 143 points, then the points system still applies. The tenancy committee will then determine the rental price from the start of the lease on the maximum rental price according to the housing valuation system.

However, a different term applies to a fixed-term rental agreement, Model B. With this agreement, the tenant has up to six months after the end of the rental agreement to start a procedure with the tenancy committee for the assessment of the initial rental price. The law does not clearly state whether it means 'after the agreed (first) rental period' or, if the rent is extended, at the end of the rental agreement.

If the property is worth less than 143 points, but the tenant fails to go to the tenancy committee within the aforementioned period, the property is liberalized for this tenant if the agreed rental price is above the liberalization limit.

The yearly rent increase is only calculated on the rent, not about additional deliveries such as gas, water and light. In the Netherlands, most landlords increase the rent on 1 July, but it is allowed to deviate from that. As long as the rent is only increased 1 x per 12 months.

In the social sector strict rules apply to the annual rent increase. The government determines what the maximum rent increase may be, based on the tenant's income.

Other rules apply in the free sector. The landlord may determine himself, to a certain extent, how much the annual rent increase is. This depends on the determination that has been included in the rental agreement. A number of options are possible:

  • An indexation clause; the rent is annually increased by a percentage that can be derived from the inflation figures of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The rent then goes up with the average price development in the Netherlands.
  • A storage percentage; the rent goes up with the price index for consumers plus a storage percentage.
  • A market rent determination; the market rent stipulates that after a few years the rent can at once be increased sharply to bring the rent in line with market-based rents for comparable houses. If the landlord applies this clause, he must substantiate the rent increase based on comparable housing in your neighbourhood.
  • No clause for rent increases has been included; in that case the landlord may propose any rent increase. A tenant does not have to agree with the proposed rent increase, but then the landlord can go to court. If the judge finds the rent increase nonetheless reasonable, then the tenant gets the choice to pay the extra rent every month. Otherwise the lease will be terminated. Only the court can terminate the rent.

For rent increases in the free sector, moreover, the following rules apply:

  • The rent may be increased once every 12 months;
  • An interim rent increase is only permitted after improvement of the home;
  • The landlord does not have to inform the tenant, as in the social sector, within a certain period of time about the rent increase;
  • The landlord may cancel a rental agreement if the tenant refuses to pay the rent increase.

Yes, when renting out a living space it is mandatory to present a definitive Energy Label to a new tenant. A tenant can thus see how energy efficient a home is. If a landlord cannot present a definitive Energy Label at the start of the lease, he / she will risk a fine up to € 450.

Incidentally, an Energy Label is only mandatory when renting out entire houses. If you rent out a separate room in your home or a student room, an Energy Label is not mandatory. Read more about the Energy Label.

In some municipalities, including Amsterdam, house sharing is very popular due to the high rental prices. Houses with multiple bedrooms are then rented by a group of individuals, such as friends or colleagues. Pleasant, because it allows the rent to be shared, you can rent a big living space together and you always have company.

However, the municipality of Amsterdam has policy rules for house sharing that limits this form of rental. Now a maximum of 2 persons is allowed to share a house together. According to the municipality of Amsterdam, house sharing is deemed if a property is inhabited by more than one household. A household is a single person or two (adult) persons with or without children, who have a joint household conduct. If a property is occupied by two people (regardless of their mutual relationship or the absence of it) is therefore normal habitation. This is not house sharing. From three persons (not being parent(s) with child(ren)) it is house sharing. The municipality offers two possibilities to rent out a house to more than 2 persons: lodging / landlady rental, where no permit is required, or rental based on a conversion permit into non-independent living space.

If you rent out an independent home in the social sector, it may be necessary for a tenant to receive a housing permit. This differs per municipality, but applies especially in the municipalities where there is a large lack of social rental housing. The landlord that acts contrary to this may be confronted with hefty fines. Are you going to rent out a social home? In that case, always check in advance whether the prospective tenant will receive a housing permit.

If you rent out your house or apartment, you run the risk of damage. For example, a leak can occur. This leakage may not only result in damage to your own home, but also to that of your neighbours. It is therefore important that you are well insured when you rent out your home. So check the conditions of your insurance policy in advance. For example, some insurance companies do not permit temporary letting.

As home owner you must ensure that your home is insured against fire or damage from outside, the building insurance (in Dutch; opstalverzekering). If you are a member of an Association of Owners (V.V.E.), this is arranged collectively. A 'rental clause' is often included in this insurance. This means that the building insurance policy is also valid if you rent out your house. Are you not a member of an Association of Owners? Then read your insurance policy extra carefully and if necessary switch to a different insurance. If you rent out the house furnished, you need an inventory insurance. Not to be confused with a contents insurance. The contents insurance is usually not valid on rental, because the policy is in your own name. Therefore, transfer this contents insurance to an inventory insurance, which applies to rental.

As a home owner in the Netherlands you are entitled to a mortgage interest deduction. However, if you rent out the house, this will have consequences for your mortgage interest deduction. During the rental period the property falls into box 3 (income from savings and investments), so mortgage interest deduction is not possible. You then pay capital tax on the rental income and on the value of the property. If you are going to live in the house again after the rental, you will again be entitled to mortgage interest deduction. Provided you have not rented for more than 5 years. Because then the right to mortgage interest deduction will lapse. Always be well informed by a tax advisor, so that you will not be faced with surprises.

If you own a house or apartment, you can rent it out. A permit is not required. However, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You have to calculate how much rent you can ask for the property, in accordance with the housing valuation system
  • Does your home have less than 143 points? Then the house belongs in the social sector and you have to adhere to the maximum rent, connected to the number of points. Do you still want to rent out in the free sector? Then you can investigate whether you can, for example, take energy-saving measures to improve your energy label. You get quite a few points for a better Energy Label. And perhaps you then have enough points to rent out in the free sector. A specialist can help you with that.
  • Does your home have more than 143 points? Then it is a liberalized home that can be rented out in the free sector. You may then decide for yourself how much rent you ask.
  • If you want to rent out a house in the social sector (2019, basic rent <€ 720.42), the municipality can impose extra conditions, such as:
    -the home may not be empty for more than half a year;
    -the person who wants to live there may need a housing permit. Do you rent out without a housing permit? Then you run the risk of a fine for housing fraud.
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