Good Landlordship Act
The Act includes new rules that landlords and letting agents must adhere to when letting rental and accommodation properties. These rules are intended to better protect tenants.
The new rules for landlords and letting agents concern:
- Preventing and combating discrimination and harassment
- Requiring a maximum of two months’ basic rent as a deposit
- Recording the rental agreement in writing
- Informing tenants about their rights and obligations with respect to the rental property
- Preventing unreasonable service fees
- Specific rules concerning renting to migrant workers
You can read more about this at the National Government website.
Information for tenants
Where can I go if I have questions?
If you have general questions about renting and letting a home, you can visit the Rent Support Center Groningen (Steunpunt Huren).
Am I paying too much rent?
You can check your rent on the National Government website. If the point score indicates that you are paying too much rent, you can inform the Rent Support Center. They will help you to bring this up with your landlord, or can start proceedings with the rent tribunal (huurcommissie). The points system is not currently enforceable by law, however.
Information for landlords
To prevent and combat housing discrimination, you should:
- use and disclose a clear, transparent selection procedure
- use non-discriminatory selection criteria
- explain to unsuccessful prospective tenants why another tenant was chosen
With respect to the procedure, starting from 1 January 2024, you must:
- put it in writing
- make it public
- amend it where necessary
- ensure your employees (if applicable) are aware of it
Do you require your tenant to pay a security deposit? Starting on 1 July 2023, this security deposit may not exceed two months’ basic rent. For contracts concluded before 1 July 2023, this may not exceed three months’ basic rent. The court has made this ruling.
You must repay the security deposit to the tenant within 14 days after the end of the lease. You may only settle the following four charges against the security deposit:
- Overdue rent
- Service fees
- Damage to the rental property that is the tenant’s responsibility
- Energy performance reimbursement
Other charges, such as administrative costs, may not be settled against the security deposit. When settling costs against the security deposit, you must pay the remaining amount to the tenant within 30 days after the end of the lease.
You are required to notify the tenant in writing about any settlement against the security deposit. You should include a full specification of the costs.
Establishing rights and obligations
Upon concluding the lease agreement, you must inform the tenant in writing about the following points:
- The tenant may only use the property in the manner agreed with you.
- You may only enter the property with the permission of the tenant. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as in the event of an emergency.
- The various types of rental agreement with the corresponding tenant and rent protection. You can also pass these links onto the tenant.
- What the tenant can do about defects in the property. You can refer to the overview on the central government website about the apportioning of costs in the event of defects. You can also consult the Rent Tribunal’s Defect Guide Book (1 July 2023). It contains information on how they generally assess possible defects in rental accommodation.
- An overview of the matters for which the tenant can approach the Rent Tribunal or the subdistrict court. For this, you can refer to the overview on the central government website that provides information on when to go to the Rent Tribunal or the subdistrict court.
- If you charge a security deposit, you must inform the tenant about the following matters:
- the amount of the security deposit;
- the periods within which you must repay the security deposit;
- the way in which you must repay the security deposit.
- Contact details for the tenant’s questions about the property.
- If you charge your tenant service fees, you must inform the tenant about the following matters:
- the amount of the service fees;
- a full, annual specification of the costs for the tenant.
- Starting from 1 January 2024, you must also inform the tenant about the contact details for the municipal reporting hotline.
You may charge service fees. Service fees are costs in addition to the basic rent charged for a home, and may include things like cleaning and caretaker duties. You may not charge your tenant unreasonable service fees. The Rent Tribunal Service Fee Policy Manual provides an overview of the permissible service fees. You must also provide the tenant with a statement of the service fees annually.
If you lease accommodation to a migrant worker, the following additional rules apply:
- You must establish the rental agreement separately from the employment contract.
- You must provide the information about the tenant’s general rights and obligations in a language that the tenant understands or for which they have indicated a preference.