Rent out safely

Renting out a house or apartment can be lucrative. But renting also involves risks. A good rental agent knows through experience exactly what he / she should pay attention to and can save you from problems.

Points of interest to rent out safely

Below is a small summary of the points of interest. If you stick to this, you minimize the risk and you can rent out carefree:

As a landlord, you mainly want to rent out carefree and of course against a good return. Of course, you are not waiting for problems such as poorly paying tenants or illegal activities in your home. In practice, the large majority of candidate tenants are neat; they pay the rent on time, take good care of the house and do not cause any problems. However, there are also potential tenants that you would better not rent out to. You do not want a tenant who always pays late or doesn’t pay at all. Certainly not if you find out during the rental period that the tenant already had large debts at the start. You also do not want to be called by the police that a weed plantation or brothel has been found in your building. Fortunately, this type of tenants is only a small minority, but if you rent out a property to them, it can have very big financial consequences for you as a landlord. In the worst case, you will be left with a major loss, you will potentially be held responsible for facilitating a criminal activity and you have not received any rent for months.

How can you overcome this type of problems and only rent out to decent tenants?

Always have the screening carried out by a professional rental agent. They know what to look out for and have various tools at their disposal to thoroughly screen the candidate. However, even the best screening methods only provide information about the candidate's past, but of course not about his intentions in the future. For example, someone with a good income can unexpectedly get into financial problems due to a divorce or dismissal and therefore be open to quick earnings through, among other things, cannabis cultivation. Or the candidate tenant makes use of a false or stolen identity card or is only a front man, who naturally rolls easily through all screenings. Also, if the candidate suddenly offers to pay a much higher rent you must have serious reservations about their intentions.

An experienced rental agent knows how to beat the whip and will protect you from bad tenants. Home of Orange only works with women in the field. They are trained to assess the candidate for their occurrence and behaviour. Does a candidate in writing look like a decent tenant, but does the feeling we get during our personal contact not match? Then we will reject the candidate. This critical approach has probably saved a lot of landlords from disaster.

If you ask Home of Orange to mediate for you in finding a tenant, then a thorough screening is standard included in our services.

Have you found a tenant yourself, but do you want to know for sure whether the candidate is reliable? We can also carry out the screening for you. It will give you a safe feeling! A screening of a private person costs € 85.00 incl. VAT. A screening of a company costs € 115.00.

If your tenant wants to sublet the property wholly or partially to someone else, then you as the landlord must explicitly give permission for this. If you do not do this, or if your tenant sublets the house without your knowledge, subletting is emphatically prohibited by law. If provided in the rental agreement.

There are a number of good reasons why you would give permission to your tenant to sublet the property. If, for example, your tenant wants to go on trial to live together for a while at another address, but the step to end the lease completely is too premature. Or your tenant is going to travel for a year and wants to return to the home after returning. If you agree with this, it is perfectly possible to record this with the right rental agreement.

But if your house, or part of it, is rented out by the tenant at a higher rent to another person without your permission, you will logically not grant permission for this. Or when your tenant rents the property regularly or continuously to tourists at high prices via platforms such as AirBnB. It is clear that you would not give permission for this and your tenant is in violation.

Our rental agreements state that 'the tenant is not permitted to sublet the house entirely or partially or to give it to third parties without written permission from the landlord'. If a tenant does not comply with the agreement, then there is illegal subletting and thus breach of contract. Failure to comply will result in termination of the lease and claim for compensation for the damage suffered. In addition, you can claim the costs incurred for the necessary investigation into and the fight against illegal subletting.

What if you discover that your tenant is illegally subletting the property?

If your rental agreement states that subletting is prohibited and you discover that your tenant sublets the house without your permission, you can go to court to have the lease cancelled. In a summary proceeding, eviction can already be requested. In that case, always make sure that you have sufficient proof, such as photos, advertisements, guest reviews etc.

You can claim costs for illegal subletting

If the court finds that your tenant has indeed illegally sublet the property, you can claim the following costs from the tenant:

  • the fine, as mentioned in the rental agreement;
  • the research costs incurred, for example, when you have engaged a research agency to collect evidence of subletting;
  • the costs of the eviction;
  • the costs of legal proceedings;
  • the profits made by the illegal rental, of course minus the rent already paid;

In the case of illegal subletting, the tenant therefore loses not only the rental property, but potentially also has to pay high costs.

The intention to sublet is also punishable

Not only the actual illegal subletting is punishable. Also, the intention to do that is punishable. Recently a judge from the court of The Hague dissolved a rental agreement while the house was not even actually sublet. But the house was offered on the internet, so the intention was clear.

Are you a landlord? Check occasionally websites like Airbnb and Wimdu to make sure that your rented home is not offered for rent.

A valuation system for rental housing, the Housing Assessment System (in Dutch: woningwaarderingstelsel, WWS), better known as the points system, applies throughout the Netherlands. You get the most points for the surface area, the Real Estate Valuation (in Dutch: WOZ) and the Energy Label. In addition, you are awarded several points for the quality and the execution of the home. Do you want to know how many points your house has? Then enter here all characteristics of the house and see how many points your house has.

Does your home have 145 points (per 1 January 2022, 142 points per July 2022) or more? Then you can rent out your house or apartment in the free sector. No maximum rental price applies then. If your home does not have enough points, your home belongs in the social sector. Then the maximum basic rent is determined on the basis of the point system (2022: maximum of € 763,47 basic rent). During the entire rental period, the basic rent of a social house cannot be increased to above € 763,47 and thus fall into the free sector. In addition, a tenant in the social sector has tenancy protection at the end of the rental period, income standards apply to qualify for social housing and the municipality can make demands on a housing permit for a house in the social sector. Contrary to what many landlords think, it does not matter whether you rent out furnished or unfurnished. It also does not matter whether you rent to an expat or to a Dutch tenant. These rules apply to everyone and throughout the Netherlands!

Test of the rental price by the tenancy committee

In principle, you are free to arrange any rental price with your tenant. However, the tenant always has the right to have the price of the rent tested by the tenancy committee. With a lease for an indefinite period of time that is possible up to 6 months after the start of the lease. With a temporary lease, this can be done up to 6 months after the end of the temporary lease.

At the request of the tenant, the tenancy committee determines the number of points your home has on the basis of the Housing Assessment System. If it turns out that your home does not have enough points and you thereby unjustly rent out in the free sector, the rent will be adjusted downwards to the maximum rent corresponding to the number of points. Subsequently, the lessor has to pay back the already overpaid received rent to the tenant. For example, if you have already rented your apartment for a period of 4 months for € 1200.00 per month and it appears that the basic rent cannot exceed € 698.00, then you have to pay back the difference over the past 4 months. Moreover, the fixed maximum rent is now the new rental price. This can, therefore, be a considerable setback and in addition, the tenant will probably not leave the house in the near future. After all, there is a big shortage of social rental housing. As long as this tenant rents the house, you are stuck with this low rent. Apart from the fact that you may have rented your home to someone who was not entitled to a social home in terms of income or any necessary housing permit.

A decision by the tenancy committee can be appealed to the subdistrict court, even though it then is also subject to the Housing Assessment System.

Make sure you know the number of points your house has
Make a calculation of the points before the start of the rent, so you know how many points your house has exactly. Do you have insufficient points, but do you want to rent in the free sector? Then you might make some energy-saving improvements. So that you get more points and therefore eventually can rent without risk in the free sector. For example, are you only a few points short and do you have a poor Energy Label? Then you can make some adjustments to change an Energy Label G into an Energy label E. With which you may score sufficient points to rent out in the free sector. It can also help to make some adjustments that improve the quality of the home, for example installing a thermostat radiator.

Update January 2022:
There will be a change in the calculation of the pointsystem; the WOZ-value will soon only count for 1/3 of the pointsystem. This can have a huge impact on the rental price. It is still unclear when this will be implemented.

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