Terminating a tenancy agreement, how does that work again?

Everything comes to an end eventually, including tenancy agreements. Yet their correct termination is governed by conditions and rules. It’s vital to take good note of these because if you don’t, the tenancy agreement could, for example, continue against your wishes for a fixed or indefinite period.

When can you terminate the agreement and how much notice do you need to give?

The type of tenancy agreement that has been concluded also determines the date from which the tenant or landlord is permitted to terminate it and the applicable periods of notice.

Indefinite rental period tenancy agreement

The most common type of agreement generally covers a minimum period and then an indefinite rental period. The tenant can only terminate this agreement once the minimum period has elapsed. The notice period for the tenant is equal to a payment period and usually one calendar month. The landlord is also only permitted to terminate the agreement after the end of the minimum period. The notice period for the landlord is three calendar months plus one additional month for each full year that the tenancy agreement has lasted, with a maximum of six months. However, a landlord must have legal grounds for terminating the agreement and these are laid down in law. There’s a high probability that a judge will ultimately end up ruling whether these legal grounds are valid. In practice, this means that it’s generally the tenant who decides when an indefinite rental period tenancy agreement ends.

Fixed rental period tenancy agreements:

Temporary rental tenancy agreements

Although this type of tenancy agreement is in principle concluded for a non-terminable fixed period or periods, in practice the landlord and tenant have often agreed that the latter can terminate the agreement before the end date by giving notice of one calendar month. The landlord may only terminate the agreement as of the final end date of the tenancy agreement, again with a notice period of three calendar months plus one additional month for each full year that the tenancy agreement has lasted, with a maximum of six months. This type of agreement may only be entered into if the landlord’s situation meets specific criteria.

Fixed rental period tenancy agreements with a maximum term of two years
This type of tenancy agreement is designed to protect the landlord from being unable to terminate the agreement. It’s worth noting: the tenant may terminate the agreement immediately after it has entered into effect as it doesn’t cover a minimum period. The notice period is one calendar month. The landlord must terminate this agreement in good time, between three months and one month prior to the agreed end date.

Tenancy agreements under the Vacant Property Act

Once a permit has been obtained, a home that is up for sale may be let until the property is sold. Under this type of agreement, the tenant may terminate the agreement once a minimum period has elapsed by giving notice of one calendar month. On the sale of the property, a landlord may terminate the agreement after the minimum period has ended by giving notice of three calendar months. Please note: a maximum term applies to the required permit. The property may only be let and the agreement terminated within this period.

There are other types of agreement for fixed rental periods in addition to those described above, such as for target groups, holiday lets, the letting of rooms with shared amenities by a resident landlord and student lets.

How to give notice

Notice must always be given in writing. It must be indisputably clear to both parties that notice has been given and reached the other party. We recommend contacting the other party after giving notice to check that they did indeed receive it. The most common method of giving notice is still by registered post. A bailiff’s notification is a more expensive option but is sometimes used if there’s uncertainty about whether a registered letter would reach the other party in good time. There’s also jurisprudence to indicate that giving digital notice via E-mail or WhatsApp message is also correct as the other party will then need to prove that they didn’t receive it in good time, but this is rather a grey area that might need to be resolved in court in the event of a difference of opinion.

Day-to-day practice

In practice, we regularly encounter examples of (self-formulated) tenancy agreements in which notice periods or grounds for giving notice are included or applied incorrectly. Tenants or landlords frequently ask us for help on disagreements about notice (allegedly) having been given on a concluded agreement.

Tenancy law is binding in the Netherlands. It’s therefore crucial that everything is both included and implemented properly. We devote a great deal attention to accurate legal knowledge to ensure that tenancy agreements are correct. If you’ve also contracted out management of your property to us, you can rely on notice being given correctly, as there’s an art to that too.

 

 

 

 

 

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