real estate law advice

As an expat you stay in the Netherlands for a certain time and you will usually conclude a temporary lease. With regard to temporary lease agreements, it is good to know the following.

Since July 1st 2016 the possibilities for temporary lease have increased, in the sense that the tenant has less security of tenure when the lease is terminated. These new rules do not apply to agreements concluded before July 1st 2016.

The most common temporary rental agreements are:

  1. Rental agreement with diplomatic clause

    The lessor and/or owner is temporarily abroad. Lessor and tenant agree that the lessor will resume living in the leased property after the lease term has expired and that the tenant will have vacated the leased property as of that date. This agreement must be terminated with due observance of the correct period of notice of termination! The rental agreement is not terminated by law. Since July 1rst 2016, lessor and tenant can, in consultation, extend the lease term. Since then, the lessor may lease the properties several times to successive tenants during his temporary stay elsewhere.

  2. Short-term lease

    This concerns fixed-term agreements and agreements that have been entered into for a period not longer than 2 years. These agreements end by operation of law without the tenant being entitled to security of tenure. The rental agreement does not have to be formally terminated, but the lessor does have to inform the tenant in writing between 1 and 3 months before the lease contract expires, that the contract will end. A premature or late notification leads to a lease contract for an indefinite period. Lessor can only once enter into a contract for a period of two years or less, each extension leads to a contract for an indefinite period. This also applies if the tenant continues to live in the leased property after the agreed period (tacit renewal). Therefore it is very important as a lessor to inform the tenant in time – not too early and not too late – that the rent will end on the agreed date, otherwise the tenant can stay and will have a rental agreement of indefinite duration and will be entitled to security of tenure.It is good to know that the tenant can always terminate a short-term contract before the end of the term. The security of tenure for tenants with a contract of 2 years or less has been extended. They can still have the rent checked by the Rent Committee up to 6 months after the expiry of the temporary contract (and the rental agreements has become one of indefinite duration). Furthermore, it is good to know that a lessor may not repeatedly give a tenant a fixed-term contract (for example a one-year contract each time), because the Dutch law stipulates that extension of a fixed-term contract automatically leads to a rental agreement of indefinite duration. Expats should be attentive to this and should not be tempted to enter into new fixed-term contracts with extra obligations, such as a rent increase that is not in accordance with what is included in the rental agreement. Our experience is that many lessors (also through brokers) still try this and that expats – due to a lack of knowledge of Dutch law and for fear that they have to leave the house – nevertheless agree to such a new contract.

Contact Brugrecht Lawyers, experts in real estate law, for your rights and obligations as a tenant under Dutch law and for drawing up or reviewing a rental agreement for your stay in the Netherlands;