Housing rights

It is important for everyone who buys or rents a home to know about the Dutch rules & regulations on housing. What do you do if there is a conflict with your landlord, what are your general rights, what can you expect from a rental contract?

Always make sure you read a tenancy agreement carefully before signing; six months into the contract, many rights may have or could soon expire. For example, it is important to check whether your rent is accurate and what adjustments you are allowed to make to the property.

Should anything go wrong, the Dutch law has many rules that protect your rights as a tenant. For example, a landlord cannot simply evict you from your home. If you do not reach agreement, only a court can terminate the lease.

Did You Know . . .

As a tenant you have rights, regardless of what’s written in your contract/lease.

  • There are rules regarding rent control, furnishing and service charges.
  • Housing agencies have to abide by the rules and can be held accountable if you are being overcharged.
  • So-called temporary leases are in fact often not temporary.
  • You might not have to leave when your lease ends.
  • You can make the landlord do the necessary maintenance.
  • You cannot be evicted from your home for starting legal procedures.
  • Charging a key fee (sleutelgeld) is illegal. The departing tenant or landlord may however ask you for this; do not pay.

Where to find help in the event of problems with a landlord?

In the Netherlands there is an independent organisation that deals with problems between tenants and landlords: the Rent Tribunal (huurcommissie). The Rent Tribunal can also rule on disputes between you and your landlord. For more information, please visit the website or make an appointment for advice: www.juridischloket.nl (only available in Dutch)