If you want to rent out your property, there are laws and regulations that you have to comply with. If you don’t, there can be serious consequences. But what exactly are the rules and regulations of renting out your property to an expat? An important part of this has to do with the Dutch laws that are meant to protect tenants. If you only want to rent out your property temporarily, it is important to take this into account and choose the right rental contract. If you put your home on the market for rental it is also important to know the rules regarding rental amounts and rent increases. In addition, there are a number of other rules and regulations that apply to the property itself. Below we will discuss all this in more detail.
In the Netherlands, a tenant is entitled to rent protection. This means that a landlord cannot just evict a tenant. A major fear among property owners is that they will no longer be able to get a tenant out of their house or apartment, while they would like to use it again after a certain period. With temporary rent, a tenant enjoys limited rental protection.
The general rule is that as a landlord you may give a temporary rental contract once with a minimum duration of 6 months and a maximum duration of 2 years. Such a fixed-term contract expires automatically, but pay attention. As a landlord, you must remind your tenant of the end date of the contract in time, namely 1 to 3 months before the end date. If you do not do this, the contract will automatically change into a rental contract for an indefinite period.
As a landlord, you may not terminate a tenancy agreement earlier than the date stated therein. In such a temporary rental situation, however, the tenant only has a notice period of a maximum of 1 month. Do you want to rent again to the same tenant for a certain period of time after the rental? Then this must be a rental agreement for an indefinite period and the tenant therefore enjoys full rental protection.
In addition to the temporary rental contract, there is an option for so-called interim rental. This is intended for landlords who (for example) stay abroad for a predetermined period. Initially, a fixed duration for the agreement is agreed between 6 months and 2 years. During this period, the rent cannot be canceled on either side (usually with a number of exceptions that allow earlier return to the property, also known as the so-called diplomatic clause). This of course offers more security to you as a landlord, but sometimes also makes it more difficult to find a tenant. After this initial period, it is possible to extend once more with an agreed term. During this extension of the rental period, the tenant has a notice period of 1 month, for the landlord this is a minimum of 3 months.
Would you like to know more about the rental contracts that we use? Read all about it in the blog ‘All about different types of contracts’
What rental price can I ask for my property?
In the Netherlands there is rent protection for tenants in the social sector. A points system determines what the maximum rent should be for a rental property. Properties with a rent below the liberalization limit (149 property valuation points, equal to a rent of € 808.06 in 2023) fall under the social rental system. Within this system, tenants enjoy rent protection. This means that a tenant can approach the Rental Committee to have assessed whether the monthly rent they pay is too high. If, after calculation, this appears to be the case, the landlord is obliged to reduce the rent.
Private sector rentals
Properties with 149 points or more according to the property valuation system are eligible for rental in the private sector. At the moment, rents above this liberalization limit are not regulated. So of course it is important to make sure that your property has sufficient points. During the first 6 months after signing the rental contract, tenants can have the property tested by the Rent Assessment Committee. If, after calculation, it turns out that the property belongs to the social sector according to the property valuation system, a tenant can still force a lower rent.
In addition, the cabinet is currently also working on curbing the rents of properties in the so-called mid-rental sector. This measure is meant to make rental housing for middle incomes more affordable. The announced plans mention the introduction of rent protection for rents up to a maximum of €1,250. However, the exact upper limit has yet to be determined. The new rules should come into effect from 2024. For now it remains to be seen what the exact details of these plans will be and whether the plans are legally feasible. If your property falls in the middle segment according to the scoring, it is of course important to keep a close eye on developments.
Rent increases: how often and how much?
According to the rules, the rent of a home may be increased no more than once a year, whereby the rent may not exceed the previously discussed maximum rent (in the case of the regulated part of the market). In the private sector, too, the rent may only be increased once a year. The tenant must be informed of this at least 2 months in advance. There are a number of exceptions to the annual increase:
-on July 1, the rent may be increased, even if the lease is less than a year old.
-If the house has been significantly improved, an additional rent increase may be implemented.
-if there were more than 12 months between the previous rent increases, for example because a rent increase was announced too late, the rent may still be increased again in July.
Rules and regulations for rent increases in the private sector?
With the law on ‘maximizing rent increases for liberalized leases’, the annual rent increase for private sector rents is limited to a maximum for a period of three years from 1 May 2021. In previous years, the maximum annual rent increase was set at inflation + 1 percentage point. For 2023, this would amount to 10.7%. Due to a change in the law adopted in December 2022, the maximum increase for 2023 is linked to average wage increases instead of inflation. As a result, the maximum rent increase for 2023 is 4.1%.
Energy label – necessary for renting out your property
Landlords are obliged to make an energy label available to the tenant when renting out. Your home may already have a valid energy label. If not, you can request this from an energy advisor.
Regulation for renting out: Smoke detectors
Since 1 July 2022, smoke detectors are mandatory in both existing and new homes. The owner or lessor is responsible for installing the smoke detectors. Tenants do have to cooperate in both the installation, inspection and, if necessary, replacement of the batteries of the smoke detectors present. Read more about this subject in our blog ‘Are smoke detectors mandatory?’