Christian MalipaardWhen moving abroad to a new posting, one of the most urgent and relevant issues to be addressed is housing – the quality, the price, the duration and, last but not least, the emotional and mental comfort of having a place called home.
Many companies have their own, in-house relocation team that handles the legal aspects of a tenancy agreement. Most expats, however, will make use of the services of a real estate agent or go hunting on the housing market unaided.
Tenancy law in The Netherlands has a few peculiarities that are unknown to foreigners. Whether you have been here for a long time and are changing houses, or whether you have just arrived, it may make sense to review some of the more particular points:
Tenancy agreements are entered into for a definite or an indefinite period of time. It is important to realize that tenancy agreements signed for a definite time are also to be terminated by the lessor. Meaning that the tenancy agreement does not automatically end on the day the rental period expires. If a tenant is told to leave at the end of the rental period, he is not obliged to do so without a word. Security of tenure can be invoked, even though the tenancy agreement is concluded for a definite period of time.
Should the lessor want to terminate the agreement at the end of the rental period, the tenant has to be given notice to leave. A reasonable notice period is to be observed. Moreover, the notice of termination is to be given in writing, best by registered mail. When the rental period expires without notification from the lessor, the agreement automatically turns into an agreement for a indefinite period of time.
Under pain of nullity, the notice of termination must be based on reasons stated in the law or the contract. If the lessor fails to do so, the agreement will carry on under the previously stated conditions.
The lessor can bring the matter before the court, should the tenant disagree with the termination or should he not respond to the notification. The Judge will then decide whether the grounds that are mentioned in the notification should be granted or not. Such an eviction procedure will take about 3 months during which the tenant may stay on the rented premises (If you are in the wrong however, you will be ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings).
So, do not despair should you be given notification to leave your beloved rented accommodation. Tenants are very well protected under Dutch law.
For more information, please visit the English pages of our site or contact GMW Advocaten.
Christian Malipaard
Real estate and tenancy lawyer with GMW Advocaten
070 3615048