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Journal

March
5
2020

Can the tenant make changes to the property rental agreement (huurovereenkomst) ?

In the Netherlands a lot is rented and rented out. It is as a result helpful to legally highlight one more typical predicament: modifications that the tenant helps make to the rented residence, the so-named 'self-created facilities' (ZAV).


The law stipulates that the tenant may not make any alterations to the rented home, except in the situation of minor changes that can be undone at the finish of the rental without significant costs. At rent dispute (huurgeschil) of the lease, the rented residence should be delivered in the situation as it was laid down in the delivery report, topic to the permitted adjustments to the rented property.


Delivery report
In the absence of a recording statement at the start of the lease, the law stipulates that the rented residence is supposed to be delivered in the state in which the tenant obtained it at the begin, unless of course the lessor can prove the contrary. In that context, it is consequently often a good idea to draw up a delivery report / recording statement at the start of the lease, plainly describing the situation of the rented home and taking images.


Permission essential?

law firm can consequently make small changes. If Legal Assistance Office (bureau voor rechtshulp) desires to make more substantial alterations, then the landlord's permission is needed. The landlord may possibly set situations for this permission. If the lessor does not give permission, substitute permission could be requested from the court. In principle, the judge offers permission if the rented property is not damaged or falls in value

Delete alterations at the end of the lease? Based on the intended changes to the rented residence, it is useful for the lessor to agree, when permission is made to make modifications, that those changes have to have been canceled by the tenant at the finish of the lease, if this is wanted. The tenant is not obliged to take away permitted (permitted by the landlord) alterations at the end of the lease. The tenant is allowed to do this, this is named the 'breakaway right'. Breaking away the ZAV must be done neatly and with out leaving injury.


Who is responsible?
What if the ZAV remained at the end of the lease and nothing at all was agreed among the landlord and the departing tenant? Who is then legal aid agency (bureau rechtshulp) for the self-installed amenities? If the landlord does not agree with the new tenant, then these adjustments are component of the rented home and the landlord is responsible for this. Landlords frequently do not want to get duty for the amenities presented by a tenant. In that situation, the landlord can have the departing tenant conclude a takeover agreement with the new tenant and in this way have the new tenant signal for the takeover of the ZAV with the linked maintenance obligation. The landlord will then not be responsible for the ZAV.


Also takeover obligation to undo?
The fact that a tenant has taken over the ZAV does not suggest that he has instantly taken on the obligation to undo (the elimination of the ZAV). When concluding the lease, the lessor must explicitly and unambiguously reserve the appropriate to be able to (effectively) demand removal of the (adopted) alterations at the end of the lease. This does not apply to permitted ZAV, due to the fact they may remain at the end of the lease, except if otherwise agreed.


What if the new tenant does not want the ZAV?
What if at the end of the lease the new tenant does not want to take over the ZAV? Can the departing tenant still receive compensation for the ZAV? The law gives the probability to do so, however, the case law displays that the bar to receive compensation is really large. On the basis of the real conditions, this kind of as the degree of the investments, how prolonged have the ZAV been current, have they been written off and do the ZAV supply the lessor with an benefit that they had been worth-escalating, it will be judged regardless of whether there is space for compensation for the ZAV left behind.

Make very good agreements!
Therefore, when concluding the lease and when giving permission to the tenant for facilities and adjustments to be made, make clear, written agreements so that the obligations of the tenant and landlord are clear at the end of the lease and unnecessary discussions are prevented.


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