Recent changes in the Dutch tenancy law have resulted in different types of tenancy agreements. What is the purpose of having multiple types of tenancy agreements and what are the differences? Jeroen de Bruijn, MVA Certified Expat Broker at the Dutch Housing Centre, will give you more information about the various types of tenancy agreements.

Jeroen de Bruijn

Let’s start by mentioning that in general the Dutch tenancy law for housing is very complicated. There are many statutory regulations and a large number of these regulations are so-called ‘mandatory law’. This means that if the tenancy agreement departs from the law on a specific point, the law prevails and the tenancy agreement can be disregarded on that point. So if two parties enter into a tenancy agreement, they cannot always be sure that what they have agreed upon is legally enforceable.

Different circumstances require different agreements. Therefore we recognise 4 types of tenancy agreements of which the first 3 are used frequently.

  • Tenancy agreement for an indefinite period
  • Tenancy agreement for a maximum of 24 months (self-contained accommodation)
  • Tenancy agreement for a fixed term (temporary tenancy agreement)
  • Tenancy agreement under Vacancy Act

Tenancy agreement for an indefinite period of time

In this model, you usually agree to an initial minimum rental period during which the tenancy agreement cannot be terminated. The tenancy agreement does not expire automatically, it needs to be terminated by either the tenant or the landlord. Termination is subject to a notice period. A tenant has a notice period of one month assuming that the rent is paid per month. The landlord must observe a notice period of at least three months plus one month for each year that the tenant has lived in the rented property with a maximum of six months in total.

The tenant has full security of tenure, which means that the landlord needs to have a valid reason to terminate the tenancy agreement.

Tenancy agreement for up to 24 months (self-contained accommodation)

Since July 1st 2016, it is possible to enter into self-contained accommodation tenancy agreement for up to two years. The tenant has no security of tenure for this type of tenancy agreement. This type of tenancy agreement does not need to be terminated, it expires automatically. One special condition applies. The landlord needs to notify the tenant in writing between three months and one month before the end of the tenancy agreement that the tenancy agreement expires and that the tenant must leave on the agreed end date.

Fixed-term tenancy agreement (temporary tenancy agreement or ‘tussenhuur’)

The fixed-term tenancy agreement (temporary tenancy agreement or ‘tussenhuur’) is used when the tenant and the landlord agree that the tenancy agreement is temporary, because the landlord intends to return and move into the property at the end of the agreed rental period. This tenancy agreement, although temporary, needs to be terminated by the landlord in good time. The standard notice period applies.

Tenancy agreement under Vacancy Act (purchase or rental property for sale)

The tenancy agreement under Vacancy Act is intended for situations in which a property is for sale. This property can be a home which was previously inhabited by the owner or which was rented previously in a regular manner (therefore not on the basis of the Vacancy Act) and was inhabited by a tenant.

Vacancy Act rentals are only possible after obtaining a Vacancy Act permission from the municipality. The tenancy agreement should mention various details from the Vacancy Act permission. The tenant has no security of tenure for a Vacancy Act rental.

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