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Rental Law

Lack of clarity in lease costs landlord a lot of money

By 13 June 2024June 17th, 2024No Comments

Victory for the Tenant: Justice in Rotterdam  (ECLI:NL:RBROT:2024:5024)

As a lawyer, you are always ready to defend your client’s interests, and the recent judgment of the Rotterdam District Court on 7 June 2024, published on 12 June 2024, proves once again how crucial this role is. In this case, in which I assisted the tenant, we won an important victory that makes it clear that justice prevails.

Background of the Case

The case revolved around a rental agreement between the tenant and the landlord, under which the tenant rented a room from the landlord in Rotterdam from 1 August 2022 to 1 July 2023. The agreement mentioned a rent of €1,100 per month, which turned out to be excessive. After the lease expired, the tenant requested the Rent Commission to review the reasonableness of the agreed rent, which led to an interesting legal battle.


The main issue in the dispute was whether the lease had been signed for definite or indefinite period. The Rent Commission had initially rejected the tenant’s request on the grounds that it had been filed too late, assuming a lease for an indefinite period.

However, the subdistrict court ruled that the lease was for a definite period, namely from 1 August 2022 to 1 July 2023. Uncertainty about this was the landlord’s liability, according to the subdistrict court. The doubt that the landlord had created in the lease was therefore not to his benefit, other than at the Rent Commission. The tenant’s request on 7 August 2023 was thus well within time, so the Rent Commission should have dealt with the tenant’s request, according to the subdistrict court judge.

Financial Restitution and Cost Condemnation

The court set the reasonable rent at €345.58 per month, requiring the landlord to refund €8,298.62 plus statutory interest to the tenant. The landlord was also ordered to pay the tenant the costs of the proceedings.

Importance of Clear Contracts

This case highlights the importance of clear and understandable rental contracts. It is essential for contracts to be unambiguous to avoid misunderstandings and legal disputes. In this case, the ambiguity in the contract led to a judicial review, which ultimately found in favour of the tenant.


This judgment is a clear victory for tenants facing unreasonable rents and unclear contracts. It shows that the judiciary is mindful of protecting tenants and that unjust practices are being addressed. For the tenant, this means not only financial compensation but also a sense of justice and recognition.

As a lawyer, I am proud that I was able to assist the tenant in this case and that together we achieved this victory. This verdict will hopefully serve as a precedent for future cases and protect tenants from unreasonable lease terms.

As a tenant, do you also feel you are paying too much? Don’t hesitate to seek legal help. Justice is closer than you think.

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