Fixed-term residential rental
Due to the tight and protective regime in terms of housing rental protection, fewer properties are becoming available on the rental market than could be if landlords were able to terminate more easily. Adjustments have been made by the government to still allow short-term rentals through the Rent Market Transition Act from 1 July 2016. What do those options look like?
Temporary rental agreement
The main possibility for short-term letting was introduced by Section 7:271(1) of the Civil Code. The new Section 7:271(1) of the Civil Code allows the landlord and tenant to enter into a temporary rental agreement for a period of up to two years for independent living accommodation and up to five years for non-self-contained living accommodation. Section 7:228 (1) of the Civil Code applies to such a lease: the lease ends when the term for which it was entered into has expired. However, the landlord must inform the tenant in writing before the expiry of the lease that the lease will end on the agreed date. This obligation to inform is subject to deadlines, a maximum of three months before the end of the lease, and a minimum of one month before the end of the lease. If the letter does not meet these, the lease continues indefinitely. This is strictly judged by the courts, see, for example, ECLI:NL:RBMNE:2018:5265. Too early information can also lead to the judgement that the obligation to provide information has not been met, making the lease agreement indefinite, ECLI:NL:RBZWB:2018:332. In a single case, a different judgment may be reached on grounds of reasonableness and fairness, ECLI:NL:RBOVE:2018:1628.
Revolving door constructions are not allowed. It follows from the Explanatory Memorandum to the Lease Market Transition Act 2015 (Parliamentary Papers II 2015/16, 34373, no. 3) that the indefinite term lease remains the norm and that the legislator wanted to prevent tenants from being confronted with a series of temporary leases.
The text of Section 7:271(1) of the DCC also excludes a construction in which, in the case of temporary leasing of self-contained living accommodations, a choice is made of successive temporary leases that add up to less than two years. In other words, if, for example, a six-month lease is chosen, it cannot be extended by six months, but the second lease is immediately for an indefinite period.
Rent protection does apply to temporary leases.
The (former) tenant can still ask for rent adjustment via the Rent Commission up to six months after the expiry of the lease.
Other possibilities, such as urgent own use
One ground for termination of the lease by the landlord is urgent own use. This means that the landlord must have his own interest in terminating the lease. This may also be the case if the landlord does not intend to use the property himself, but the property will be used by someone else.
Section 7:274a-f of the DCC stipulates target groups for which the landlord may terminate the rental agreement due to urgent own use when the tenant no longer belongs to the target group. These include the elderly, the disabled and students (so-called ‘campus contracts’), youth housing, PhD student housing and housing for large families.
Adaptation of the ‘diplomatic clause’
Under Section 7:274 (1) (b) jo (2) of the Civil Code, a house can be let on an interim basis in the absence of the landlord until the landlord returns to the house. It is also possible to conclude a rental agreement with successive tenants, as well as that before the expiry of the agreed term, the interim rental agreement can be extended by mutual consent.
The Leegstandswet offers the possibility to let temporarily, without rent protection. However, this requires a permit. When the permit ends, the rental agreement ends automatically. Temporary letting is possible for the following categories of living space on the basis of Article 15 of the Empty Homes Act:
– living accommodation in a building (which is awaiting rezoning, demolition, renovation or sale);
– living space in a rental property awaiting demolition or renovation;
– living space in a house for sale (new or existing construction).
– living space in a rental property for sale.