Is the landlord actually allowed to rent out the place you found?
You are looking to relocate to Holland and you’re looking for a place to rent. There are some things that you need to know before you sign a lease.
There are people that will sign any document in order to get money from you (first month rent and deposit) although they cannot actually rent out the place they offer. Be it because they fake the whole thing, or be it because they are tenants themselves and didn’t get permission from their landlord to rent out their place. Practically all lease agreements contain a prohibition to sublet the leased premises in whole or in part. Article 7:244 Dutch Civil Code prohibits the tenant to pass on his right to use the leased residence to others (in whole).
So how can you find out if the landlord is actually allowed to rent out the place he offers? Simple: ask whether the landlord owns the place and if so, if you can see evidence of that by way of an excerpt of the land registry. If the landlord is not the owner, ask for proof of permission by the owner, in which case you would also require evidence that the author of the permission is actually the owner. Again, ask for an excerpt from the land registry.
Ask whether you will be allowed to register with the local council at the address of the rented place. If the answer is no: you will get administrative problems when renting the place, since you will have to commit fraud in order to register somewhere else. Such fraud is punishable under the law. If you do get the permission to register, ask if anyone else is registered at the address as well. If people are to remain registered at an address of which you will be the only tenant, they should be deregistered: you don’t want to pay tax for them and you most certainly don’t want to run the risk that a bailiff seizes your goods because someone you don’t even know is registered at your address!
In case you doubt whether your prospective landlord is actually allowed to rent out the space he offers, investigate before you lose a lot of money and time.
Do you need more information or assistance with your rental contract? We are lawyers in Amsterdam who are specialized in rent law. Call us on + 31 20 6630339 or send us an email.
Robert M. Berendsen (1966) studeerde Internationaal recht aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Na voltooiing hiervan volgde hij een tweede studie: Nederlands recht aan de Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam.