Arthur de GrootIf I look trough the eyes of foreign entrepreneurs in the Netherlands I notice a lot of misunderstanding on how to operate on the real estate market within the proclaimed complicated Dutch tenancy law field.
Compared to foreign tenancy law and real estate law, the duration, renewal and termination of lease agreements under Dutch Law might surprise ex patriots in the Netherlands. Even in cases that are purely a matter of tenancy law, and not issues as part of a broader scope (e.g. administrative law, construction law, notary law).
Besides some specific statutory and not-statutory provisions of administrative law, lease agreements in the Netherlands are governed by general rules of civil law.
As the applicable mandatory legal regime differs for office lease agreements and commercial lease agreements, the primary use of the premises usually determines the legal regime.
Some elements of the relevant legal regime constitute that parties are free to deviate by contract, while other elements constitute mandatory law which specifically applies to business premises. For example, one has to take in mind that there are no statutory minimum terms for the lease of office space, nor mandatory or statutory notice periods.  However, the Dutch Civil Code does contain mandatory provisions with regard to eviction protection at the end of the term. The more strict provisions are applicable to commercial lease agreements. They are based on the assumption that the lessees of commercial real estate – shopkeepers for example – should be able to earn a return on investments made in their business within ten years.
In my practice I see a lot of foreign entrepreneurs in a mixed private-professional tenancy. If  permitted in Municipal zoning plans, such tenancy constructions may give rise to the question which legal regime is applicable, that of housing or that of businesses.
When the review and drafting of lease agreements is at hand, it might be wise to use tailor-made assistance of an experienced  real estate lawyer to help you shape your business. Legal scrutiny of opportunities and possible risks in lease agreements might even turn out essential for a (new) business venture.
For more information, contact me at the telephone number below or go to the English version of our site at
Arthur de Groot
070 – 3615048