It is always in the best interest of the tenant to maintain a written record of the rental agreement. A written agreement ensures that both the tenant and the landlord are on the same page when it comes to the terms and conditions of the rent. This facilitates the landlord to meet his/her duties. Moreover, this provides the tenant with a clear overview of his/her responsibilities as well. It is also possible to reach a verbal rental agreement. However, this type of agreement limits the parties involved in having verification of the exact terms and conditions in the rental agreement.
Definite rental agreement
This type of agreement is limited to a certain amount of time, e.g. a year. The contract states a clear end date of the tenancy. The inclusion of an end date in the rental agreement does not necessarily mean that the tenant is obligated to leave the house on that exact date. Even when the end date is reached, the landlord should be able to appeal to a validation of the termination. This means that the rent does not end automatically. The inclusion of an end date in the rental agreement merely means that the tenant can end the contract on that specific date without consequences. If the tenant were to end the contract before the end date, they are required to pay the rent for the remaining months. This is not the case when the rental agreement is considered to be of an indefinite duration. Student residences follow a different procedure because they offer contracts specific to campus housing to students. Therefore, student residences are exclusively meant for students. This implies that the student residences are allowed to require tenants above a certain age to provide them with proof of university or college enrollment. If a tenant cannot provide this proof, the provider of student housing may end the rental contract. This is to uphold the vision of student residences that tenancy should exclusively be for students.
Short stay contracts
Many international students that come to the Netherlands need a quick, short-term provision of housing. Most of these students engage in a rental agreement that is a ‘short stay’ contract. These contracts differ from the more common indefinite rental contracts. In most cases, a short stay contract does not include security of tenure. However, this does not eliminate a short stay tenant from having tenancy rights.
When is it allowed?
In some municipalities, it is possible with strict regulations to rent housing for a short period between one week and six months of time. This largely applies to the rental of housing for a short stay for (often foreign) employees and students. However, other groups may also apply to short stay housing because of an unforeseen and urgent need for housing: so-called emergency tenants. It also may occur that housing corporations use short stay contracts to rent housing to tenants with a record of the nuisance. Using the concept of ‘short stay’, several municipalities created temporary housing opportunities for these specific groups. Generally, short stay housing is not used for sustainable residency. Municipal regulation regarding short stay facilitates the withdrawal of housing providing short stay tenancy from the housing stock. For example, short stay in Amsterdam is only possible for housing with a maximum net rental rate above the deregulation threshold. House owners and landlords need a permit to rent short stay tenancies. Short stay is based on the provision ‘short-term of nature’ (article 232, section 2, Dutch Civil Code, book 7), which is a provision explicitly intended as a derogation of the tenancy law. Tenancies of shorter than a week are solely allowed in hotels. Tenancies of longer than six months are regarded as ‘normal’ residencies.
Term of contract
The term of the contract may vary between a week and six months to a year. In some municipalities, agreements with educational institutions are established regarding short stay rental, in which the term depends on the duration of employment or education for the expat or international student respectively. Indefinite rental agreement. This type of agreement entails a contract without an end date. A tenant with an indefinite rental agreement is guaranteed the security of tenure and thus cannot simply be forced to leave the house.
Costs of contract and key money
The landlord can only claim a fee for the contract when they can authenticate that composing the contract costs money. Claiming key money is prohibited. Key money entails a sum of money one needs to pay to rent the house without something in return. After the rental contract ends, key money is not returned to the tenant. If it were the case one has paid key money (and is able to validate this), one might rightfully claim this money back via a cantonal court judge. In this case, please contact the legal service provided by the LSVb.