I am about to rent house in the Netherlands and I'd like to take your opinions about some rules in the contract or may be you face this in your contract and I should take care of it.

  • Maintenance: major on landlord and minor on tenant, I feel like this is very subjective and will lead to a lot of problems but he refused to modify it or write specific things.

The Tenant is obliged under the law (Article 7:217 in conjunction with 240 of the Civil Code), the present Lease Contract and custom to carry out minor repairs in, on or about the Subjects and the Landlord is obliged to remedy other defects on being asked to do so, unless this is either impossible or would require such an outlay of costs as could not reasonably be required of the Landlord in the circumstances. The parties shall promptly and properly, each at his own expense, attend to the improvements, including renewals, required to do so and which they are obliged to attend to by law, any statutory provision or contractual obligation.

  • The house has a small garden: the maintenance of the garden is on the tenant, not the owner.

  • If I said I will leave and decided a check-out date, I should leave on date and be sure the house is clean. For any day I will stay after that, I should pay a fine.

  • 1
    Minor/major is a standard distinction in many countries. Like everything in contract law there is a degree of interpretation (under the control of the courts) but coming up with another wording would create even more interpretation problems. Basically it means you can't demand your landlord comes to change a lightbulb.
    – Gala
    Mar 12, 2017 at 9:08

1 Answer 1


Note that there is a common document of terms and conditions which (apply to / are the default template for) all rental contracts and supposedly follow from Dutch law; read its translation into English.

It looks like at least your maintenance clause is taken directly from there - perhaps the entire thing is the separate document you mentioned.

The wording is definitely vague, but at least you'll know where that wording comes from and why your landlord doesn't want to change it. Maybe s/he's also uncomfortable writing formal documents in English and would rather stick to existing text.

I would say that with regard to your first point, you should try to clarify things without insisting on changing the text (and perhaps suggest an addendum). It's not that there's nothing to worry about, but you don't seem to have leverage to make him/her change his/her mind. Again, try to focus on what kind of maintenance you would want to avoid and see if you can get clarification about that.

As for your second point - it seems reasonable to me that if you rent a house or apartment with a garden, you'd be responsible for the daily maintenance of that garden. It's not as though these things are separate and somebody would just rent the garden.

Finally, about what happens when the contract expires: For the duration of the contract, you pay rent; after the duration of the contract either you pay nothing or you pay something - and that something is a fine. Now, spelling that out in a contract is not the most friendly thing to do, but it's common in many countries (and it's in my contract here). I would say the more interesting things to watch out for are:

  • How steep is the fine per day (relative to the monthly rental divided by 30)
  • What does the landlord hold against you with which s/he can materialize the fine (e.g. how high is the deposit)

Unfortunately, though, it would be very suspicious if you started arguing about the height of the fine; it gives the impression that you intend to overstay the rent period. The "trick" is to be the person who drafts the contract, which makes the other side need to argue about these unsavory details.

  • So, I shouldn't worry about maintenance point ?? as this is the most point I am very worrying about, also I have many friends have bad experience in this point with Dutch landlords !!, I mean if he refuse any add or edit !!
    – Ahmed
    Mar 11, 2017 at 13:14
  • @AhmedRagheb I'd suggest you ask for examples of what items are considered minor maintenance (such as light bulbs, dripping faucets, running toilets, pest control).
    – Giorgio
    Mar 11, 2017 at 14:37
  • @Dorothy I asked for that but between me and him property agent, she told me that not possible as "we can't put everything and I need to trust owner more than that" but as I mentioned I have friends have bad experience with Dutch owners before specially with things related to maintenance
    – Ahmed
    Mar 11, 2017 at 15:08
  • @AhmedRagheb you don't need it in writing, you just need them to explain to you the sorts of things you're responsible for. Telling them that friends have had bad experiences is NOT a good thing. You'd be upset if they told you that they'd had bad experiences with people from your country. You live in a place, expect to take care of everything so that you leave it in the condition it was when you first moved in, or better.
    – Giorgio
    Mar 11, 2017 at 15:26
  • 1
    (-1) Can you stop misleading people about the status of this document? It's simply a template and is only "sort of official" in the sense that it's been published by a trade organisation. It DOES NOT APPLY to all (or, indeed, any) rental contract. What applies is (1) the law (2) the contract you actually signed. Why even bring it up by the way? It does not even add anything to your otherwise fine answer.
    – Gala
    Mar 12, 2017 at 9:05

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