How to deal with Dutch contracts

You did it, you found an apartment! One of the most difficult steps in finding an apartment has been completed. Although it is fairly easy to negotiate about the tenancy agreement, there are still a number of things to keep in mind.

Dutch law is very pro tenant. A Dutch tenancy agreement can be for an indefinite time, but are usually for a fixed period of time. Rental contracts mostly start from six months. In the Netherlands you usually have a one month termination notice period. Dutch law usually favours the tenant. Your rent is fixed once when you occupy a house under contract which means that the landlord cannot  increase your rent multiple times a year. The landlord also cannot increase your rent more than a certain percentage a year.

The agreement

It is a good thing to know that the agreement can only be put to an end by the tenant. A rental agreement must always be recorded in writing, but note: oral agreements are also legally valid as well. For your own security it is advised to make a written contract and to always double check the content before you sign.



Utility expenses and service costs can be or not be included in the rent. Usually the owner indicates this in advance. At Riva we always mention this on the website so the tenant is going to view the apartment, he is already aware of this. Sometimes a landlord can be willing to negotiate, so it is always convenient to confirm these costs afterwards.



To guarantee the security of a landlord, the landlords usually asks for a deposit. This is usually equal to one month rent. This deposit gives the landlord security in case something gets damaged or when the tenant owes the landlord money. However, if nothing has been damaged during the renting period and you have always paid your rent on time you should get the deposit back when you move out.


Do I also need a housing permit?

If you are going to rent an apartment in Rotterdam you should double check if you need a housing permit, because some neighbourhoods in Rotterdam require one. The housing permit gives you permission to make use of a rental house.

You have to make an appointment by calling (010) 267 16 25 to submit an application for a housing permit at the Department of Public Service.

It concerns these neighbourhoods:

- Carnisse

- Hillesluis

- Oud-Charlois

- Bloemhof

- Tarwewijk

And also in the following streets in Delfshaven:

- Grote Visserijstraat

- Mathenesserdijk (addresses in postal code 3026)

- Mathenesserweg

- 1e Middellandstraat

- Middellandplein


You can apply for a housing permit when you have the Dutch nationality or a valid residence permit and you are at least 18 years old.



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