Housing rights & Tenant’s duties

Dutch law specifies specific obligations for the landlord and the tenant. These legally determined rules are called the mandatory laws and apply when no diverging rules have been established. Every tenant, also students, can call upon their rental rights.

Quite often, different rules apply to students who rent a room, in comparison with regular tenants. Students are, in some cases, not allowed to rent a student apartment after they have been unsubscribed from being a student. In case you think that your rights are being compromised by the landlord, you can receive legal assistance.

Obligations and duties

The book of Civil Law states that: ”Rent is the agreement, in which one party, the landlord, obligates himself to another party, the tenant, to let him/her use an object or part of an object, for which the tenant obligates him/herself to a compensation.”

Landlord’s obligations:

  • Ensure availability of the property within the agreed rental period.
  • Cover any necessary major repairs and maintenance (within a reasonable period).
  • Solve any problems affecting the tenant (plumbing, electricity, internet etc.).
  • Give valid reasons and notice to cancel the rental contract.

Tenant’s duties:

  • Pay the agreed upon monthly rent on time.
  • Follow the agreed house rules.
  • Pay for minor repairs that are inexpensive.
  • Allow the landlord to enter the accommodations to make repairs (within a reasonable period).


The tenant and landlord have their own responsibilities to maintain, repair and replace parts of the rented accommodation. Big maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord. He/she is responsible for things such as leakages, maintenance of frames, replacing broken heaters, etc. Small and daily maintenance and damages incurred by yourself are the responsibility of the tenant. If the landlord also takes care of these small daily repairs, he or she is eligible to charge you in the form of service costs. However, this is only the case when you and your landlord have discussed and agreed on this explicitly.

In general:

  • The tenant pays for minor repairs and the landlord for major repairs and maintenance.
  • The tenant must have easy access to make minor repairs and the repairs must not be expensive. Otherwise, the landlord must pay for them;
  • The tenant must allow the landlord to enter the accommodation to carry out maintenance or repairs.