Dodgy Dutch landlords: temporary tenants forced to stay longer

As if finding a place to live in the Netherlands isn’t hard enough already, many Dutch landlords are breaking the law by forcing tenants with temporary rental contracts to pay rent for longer notice periods than are legal.

These landlords expect temporary tenants to pay a minimum rental term — usually of around six to twelve months — which is not a legal action. 🙅‍♀️ 

If a tenant in short-term accommodation wants to end their contract early, the landlords simply don’t allow it. 😤

According to an inventory by de Volkskrant, in which over 300 tenants of temporary homes were surveyed, more than 100 people reported experiencing this unlawful practice. 

Many temporary rent contracts are unlawful. Image: AndreyPopov/Depositphotos

How and why is this happening? 

In 2016, a law was passed which allowed landlords to temporarily rent out homes for a period of 24 months.

This led to a boom in the short-term housing market and made it possible for homes that would previously only have been rented out for short periods (just a couple of weeks or months) to be rented out for indefinite periods.

In addition, many tenants are not aware of their own rights — mainly because of how complicated and confusing the laws surrounding rental periods and contracts are.

The laws even confuse some landlords, who are often not well-informed about the legislation surrounding the topic (what?!). 

A tough housing market made tougher

The housing market is already highly competitive, expensive, and limited. Unfortunately, many people have no choice but to accept these dodgy, “temporary” contracts because there aren’t many affordable options available to people. 

What do you think about this situation? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: rfphoto/Depositphotos

Nicole Ogden
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


  1. Landlords are not “forcing” prospective tenants to sign “illegal” contracts. Quite the contrary, if an unscrupulous tenant wants to rent a property badly enough they will waive their right to rescind the contract early and then claim they were “forced” to sign the contract.

    Using a left leaning paper like de Volkskrant (The PEOPLES paper) for source material is, at best, unbalanced reporting.

  2. What’s the rule? Can you explain a bit. If I am a tenant with atemperoy contract of 12 months and I wish to vacate the house after 6 months then I can vacate it with 1 month notice?

  3. I don’t believe this is happening. My landlord wants me out selling property and only gave me 28 days. I’m a disabled person paid him and wants to evict me. I don’t make that much money. Prices out there are higher than ever. Due to Covid and realest being high. If I could find a place I would move. Everyone in real estate and landlords are money hungry why punish ones who do pay explain that. Plus, no one wants to help the ones who been trying. Do you have a place so I can move into?


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