The new law on Correct Landlordship

The new law on Correct Landlordship. What does this change for you as tenant? In this article we list the most important changes for you!
Photo: Scott Graham.
Photo: Scott Graham.
Photo: Scott Graham.
Photo: Scott Graham.

What is the new law on Correct Landlordship and what does it mean for you?

The new law came into effect on July 1, 2023. This law aims to give tenants more protection through the use of a national standard for correct landlordship. This law gives the municipality the authority and more options to fight bad landlord practices. The new law is based on seven pillars that can now be legally enforced. We list the most important changes for you here.

The security deposit

As of July 1, 2023, the landlord may require a maximum of 2x the ‘bare’ rent as a security deposit from the tenant. The law also stipulates when the landlord may retain the deposit. This is will only be allowed when there is damage to the rented property caused by the tenant, rent arrears, unpaid service charges and/or unpaid energy performance fees. In any other situation, the deposit may not be withheld.

After the agreement ends, the security deposit must be repaid within 14 days. If the landlord wants to withhold (part of) the deposit, he must notify the tenant in writing. The landlord must then also specify exactly why he is withholding the deposit and how much he wants to withhold from the deposit.

This rule only applies to new agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2023. If you still have an agreement from before this date, the landlord may still require a security deposit of 3 months’ rent. Also, there is then no legal deadline for the landlord to pay it back.

Intimidation

Intimidation was already punishable, of course, but now the municipality will also have more options to help in these situations. Harassment may initially include the application or threat of verbal, psychological, physical or sexual violence. However, now within the rental relationship, the following circumstances also qualify as harassment:

  • The omission of necessary maintenance.
  • Failure to provide amenities to which you are entitled as a tenant.
  • Unlawful failure to repay the security deposit.
  • Threatening not to renew a temporary lease if the tenant does/does not do something.
  • The landlord entering the rented property without permission.
  • Obstructing the possibility of going to a judicial body.

    This list is not exhaustive and more situations can certainly be thought of. Thus, the landlord should refrain from such practices at all times.

CAUTION: If you do not feel safe or are threatened with any form of violence, you should of course call 112 as soon as possible.

Written & informational requirements

Until recently, it was possible to enter into a tenancy agreement without drafting a written contract. The new law has now put an end to this by including the written requirement of the tenancy agreement.

The landlord must now put a tenancy agreement in writing. In addition to the ordinary information about the leased property, the tenant, the landlord, etc., it must also include the following information under the new information requirement:

  • The tenant’s rights and obligations with respect to the leased property, to the extent these rights and obligations are not included in the lease.
  • If a deposit is charged, the amount of the deposit.
  • The deadlines for repayment of the deposit.
  • The contact details of a point of contact to which the tenant can turn for matters concerning the leased property.
  • The contact details of the hotline of the municipality for complaints in which the leased property is located.
  • If service charges are charged, the tenant’s obligation to pay whereby a full cost breakdown must be provided to the tenant annually.

The information obligation applies retroactively. This means that, as a tenant, you must be informed by the landlord about the above points. If you now have a rental agreement which is not in writing, this may remain unwritten.

Establishment of municipal hotline

The new law also requires all municipalities to establish a hotline for undesirable landlord behavior. How that will look is not yet entirely clear. For now, you can still contact the Meldpunt Ongewenst Verhuurgedrag at the municipality.

Summary

Because the new law has implemented many rules, you can easily find them here:

1. Prohibition of discrimination, by:
– using a clear selection procedure
– using objective selection criteria, and
– justifying the choice of the chosen tenant.

2. Prohibition of intimidation.

3. Security deposit up to 2x the ‘bare’ rent.

4. Rental agreement must be in writing.

5. providing the tenant with written information (duty to inform) about:
– the rights and obligations of the tenant
– the amount of and rules for (repayment of) the deposit
– the contact details of a contact point where the tenant can go in case of issues regarding the rented property
– the contact details of the municipal contact point where complaints about undesirable rental behavior can be reported
– the tenant’s obligation to pay the service charges, whereby a full cost breakdown must be provided to the tenant annually.

6. Service charges must be agreed on in accordance with the law.

7. Rental agents should not double charge and thus avoid serving two parties.

Read more

Photo: Cottonbro.

What you need to know about the security deposit

We at the Rent Support Center regularly receive questions about the security deposit. Therefore, in this article we list the most important issues. So read on if you have questions about, for example, a withheld deposit.