Work in the Netherlands
Tenancy contracts in the Netherlands

Tenancy contracts in the Netherlands

You might have an oral or written agreement with your landlord while renting in the Netherlands. You are highly urged to have a written agreement that is signed by all parties, nevertheless.

In the Netherlands, tenancy agreements often fall into one of two categories:

  • Contracts with set terms 
  • Long-term leases

The more typical contracts are those with a fixed duration. Although contracts can be longer or shorter, the majority have an initial duration of 1-2 years and a one-month notice period on each side (although in Amsterdam it is illegal to rent a property for a period of fewer than six months without a special license). 

Although they shouldn't exceed three months, notice periods can be greater than one month. In actuality, though, it may be exceedingly challenging for a landlord to evict a tenant without just cause and a court order. If your landlord allows it, you might want to add a break provision to the contract if your stay in the Netherlands could end abruptly during the time you are renting.

Although they don't need to be renewed, indefinite tenancy agreements may have an initial fixed term, such six months. If one party wants to end the agreement at any time, they must still give the other party the required notice period.

Tenancy agreements' provisions in the Netherlands

Your lease agreement must at the very least state:

  • your basic monthly rent (kale huur or netto huur) along with details on when it should be paid;
  • any additional charges payable to the landlord, such as utility bills or other service costs;
  • details on when the landlord can review rental costs;
  • type of contract (whether fixed-term or indefinite);
  • information on notice periods;
  • maintenance agreements;
  • house rules;
  • tenant and landlord signatures

If your landlord is billing you for utilities (such as water, gas, or electric), they must provide you with an account (eindafrekening) at least once per year that details payments and actual expenditures.

It is against the law for landlords to demand a fee without offering anything in return or specifying the purpose of the fee in the contract. Check your contract carefully to ensure there are no hidden undetermined expenses; some dishonest landlords and sub-letters try to charge new renters extra fees.

The landlord or lettings agency will frequently provide you with a general terms and conditions notice in addition to the tenancy agreement. In apartment buildings, the resident's organization may also provide you with additional rules. Make sure you comprehend the consequences of all three, especially with reference to regulations governing things like dogs and smoking on the property.

You may find examples of both fixed-term and perpetual tenancy agreements here.

Tenant obligations and rights

The majority of Dutch rental legislation is on the tenant's side rather than the landlord's, and there are set procedures for contesting a rent, a rental rise, or other difficulties. Landlords must go through protracted legal processes in order to get an eviction notice and are not permitted to remove tenants without a valid reason.

The tenancy agreement should explicitly outline all rights and duties. In general, tenants will be required to:

  • pay the rent and any other agreed monthly fees on time;
  • follow the agreed house rules as set out in the contract;
  • pay for minor inexpensive repairs, e.g., replacing light-bulbs or showerheads;
  • pay for the repair of any damage caused by themselves;
  • allow the landlord access the premises to carry out necessary repairs or inspections, providing sufficient notice has been given;
  • give valid reasons and notice when terminating the contract
Different contracts have different clauses governing things like subletting and changing interior fixtures and fittings. Unless specifically permitted by your leasing agreement, you cannot sublet the property or make any significant improvements without our consent.

Rights and duties of landlords

As long as adequate notice has been given, the landlord is permitted to enter the property to conduct inspections or repairs (usually at least 24 hours).

If a landlord has legitimate cause to evict a tenant, such as non-payment of rent, they also have that right. However, they must file for an eviction notice through the Dutch courts. The eviction procedure can take three to six months, and the landlord must notify the tenant of his or her impending eviction.

Landlord duties generally include:

  • to respect the privacy of the tenant, e.g., not visiting without giving sufficient notice;
  • cover any necessary major repairs and maintenance within a reasonable period;
  • solve any problems affecting the tenant, such as those concerning plumbing, electricity, or internet;
  • give valid reasons and notice when terminating the contract