Rental contracts in the Netherlands are pro-tenant. However, expats should be extremely careful when signing since rental contracts define both parties’ rights and obligations.
Rental contracts in the Netherlands
In general, rental contracts in the Netherlands should include:
- Both your and your landlord’s name and signature.
- An agreed monthly rent and method of payment.
- Rental security deposit information, if applicable.
- An address and description of the place.
- Starting and ending dates.
- Specific house rules (pets, third party housing, smoking policy etc.).
- Extra costs and/or utilities (energy (gas and electricity), water, Internet, phone line etc.).
- Landlord’s duties (maintenance, repairs etc.).
- A notice period for terminating the contract.
- An inventory list (if the apartment is furnished).
- The date on which the rent will be increased each year.
Please, note that an oral agreement / contract is legally valid but not widely used (mainly for security reasons). Since an oral agreement is more difficult to prove, you should take a witness with you if you want to make an oral agreement.
Housing rights and Tenant's duties
The Dutch civil code states that: "Rent is the agreement, in which one party, the landlord, obligates himself to an other party, the tenant, to let him use an object or part of an object, for which the tenant obligates himself to a compensation."
- Ensure availability of the property within the agreed rental period.
- Cover any necessary repairs and maintenance (within a reasonable period).
- Solve any problems affecting the tenant (plumping, electricity, Internet etc.).
- Rental contracts can never be terminated by a landlord unless the tenant or a court agrees.
- Pay the agreed monthly rent on time.
- Follow the agreed house rules.
- Pay for minor repairs that are inexpensive.
- Allow the landlord to enter the accommodation to make repairs (within a reasonable period).
- Tenants must inform the landlord (preferably in writing) of all defaults forthwith, regardless whether they wish the defaults to be remedied or not.