No more temporary rental contracts in the Netherlands? The government supports it

A call to scrap temporary rental contracts in the Netherlands is receiving majority support in the Dutch parliament. The call is part of an attempt to tackle the housing insecurity and high rent that comes with these types of contracts.

In an attempt to tackle the Dutch housing crisis, the House of Representatives (the lower house of the Dutch parliament) are debating whether or not to get rid of the problematic contracts.

And this would certainly be welcome. The move would make indefinite contracts the norm again for many people — and politicians are showing their support in parliament, reports the NOS

This would make it difficult for Dutch landlords to terminate rental contracts prematurely, leaving renters in a difficult and stressful search for new housing in the middle of a housing crisis

READ MORE | 7 things the Dutch government is doing to tackle the Dutch housing crisis

What is a temporary contract?

Temporary contracts (tijdelijke huurcontract) have a maximum rental period of two years, compared to indefinite contracts, which — surprise, surprise, are indefinite.

These are especially popular for students and internationals in the Netherlands who are often unsure about how long they will stay in the country.  

This type of rental contract was introduced in 2016 with the aim of increasing the supply of rental housing available. It meant that homes that were only being rented out for a few weeks or months could now be rented out for a longer period of two years.

READ MORE | Renting in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide

Sounds great, what’s the problem?

It kind of backfired. This led to the common problem of landlords terminating the contract before the two-year period, leaving only one month’s notice for tenants to pack up and find a new home. 

And let’s face it, Pararius and all the rental agencies can only help so much to find a home in one month…

On top of this, when they are asked to move out, they face a very low supply of homes available, constant scams, and high moving costs

As NOS write, CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) MP Jaco Geurts says: “the tension of looking for a home again leads to sleepless nights.”

With temporary rental contracts, landlords are also often in a position of power over their renters. They can introduce rent increases and often aren’t held accountable when they don’t conduct proper maintenance in their homes. 

According to D66 MP Faissal Boulakjar, “students are often trapped, live in mouldy houses, but don’t dare to ask their landlords,” the NOS writes.

And every time that they rent to a new tenant — which happens very often with these contracts — guess what? They can increase the rent. 

READ MORE | Housing & rental scams in the Netherlands: ultimate red flag guide

The result? The deterioration of neighbourhoods filled with temporary renters, and a very difficult housing situation for renters.

What’s left to debate?

While most of the parliament is in agreement, final details are still being discussed about the exceptions to this ban, as these contracts are very useful for certain groups.

  • The PVV (Party for Freedom) is pushing for an exception for elderly people that own their homes but would like to temporarily rent them out. 
  • The CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) party is also pushing for exceptions for short-stay homes and emergency shelters.
  • There will most likely continue to be exceptions for large families, young people, students and PhD candidates so that they can continue to rent out short-term housing with a five-year maximum. 

So at least that’s something for students looking for housing in the Netherlands? 🙃

Who’s fighting the change?

However, there are some political parties that don’t want to see a change to the current dumpster fire which is the Dutch housing system. 

The VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) don’t seem to want to make any adjustments to the current system, with fears that the number of rental properties available will decline.

Hugo De Jonge, the minister of housing, says that he doesn’t see much of a point in this solution. He is already addressing high rents with his system of extending the points system to rents up to a maximum of €1,000 per month.

He does, however, support municipalities in not allowing temporary rental contracts in specific neighbourhoods. 

Buckle up guys. Let’s cross our fingers, kiss our rental contracts, and see what happens.  

What have been your experiences with homeowners in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi came to the Netherlands four years ago for her studies with two suitcases and without ever having been to the country or knowing much about it. Now, you can find her eating ‘bitterballen’ and fighting against the Dutch wind on her bike every day like a local. Naomi enjoys writing about what is going on around her alongside a warm cup of coffee.


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