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Published on: 6 March 2024

The unfair rent increases in the free sector

We previously informed you about the preliminary questions submitted to the Supreme Court on the ‘unfair’ rent increase clauses in rental agreements and their consequences. These preliminary questions followed several court rulings by subdistrict courts on the illegality of these clauses, as a result of which tenants may have had to pay unjustified rent increases. These rulings were in line with Professor Marco Loos’ expressed suspicion, which we also wrote to you about.

The Supreme Court has yet to rule on these questions

So this article unfortunately does not yet give you the answers to the questions currently occupying the Dutch real estate world. It is unknown when the answers will come.

However, we can speculate on the possible implications that the Supreme Court’s answers may entail. The FD recently reported, for instance, that for the pension funds behind the large real estate companies focusing on rentals, the implications could be significant. For example, ABP is a minority shareholder in Vesteda, Bouwinvest is in BpfBouw and ASR and pension fund for Zorg en Welzijn own Amvest. If the rent increases of all the thousands of properties in their portfolio are scrapped and have to be paid back to tenants, the amounts involved are in the millions.

Trade association IVBN (of pension property investors) is “not yet able to properly assess the possible consequences of the lawsuits”, according to a written response. Pending the appeal rulings, the association does think the rulings need not apply to all tenants, ‘because not all leases are the same’.

Time will tell.


Do you have questions about the above developments or have other legal questions about tenancy law? Then contact one of our lawyers by mail, telephone or fill in the contact form for a free initial consultation. We will be happy to think along with you.

Articles by Koen Wanders

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