As a tenant in the Netherlands, it is important to know how to properly maintain your rental home. By following a few simple tips, you can keep your home in good condition and avoid any potential problems with your landlord. In this blog post, we will share some essential maintenance tips for tenants in the Netherlands.
Maintaining your rental property in the Netherlands can be a tricky endeavour, but with the help of the Minor Repairs Decree for Tenants in the Netherlands, it doesn’t have to be. The Minor Repairs Decree established by the Dutch government outlines specific obligations and responsibilities for both landlords and tenants in regard to repairs and maintenance.
What does the Minor Repairs Decree include?
The Minor Repairs Decree outlines several repairs and maintenance regulations that tenants and landlords must adhere to. For example, major repairs must be carried out within two weeks of the tenant submitting a repair request unless it is an emergency repair due to safety or health risks.
Landlords are also responsible for performing regular maintenance checks on their rental premises, ensuring the property still meets the standard of habitability for tenants. Homeowners may need a permit before they can undertake repairs on their property, depending on local laws. Furthermore, the Minor Repairs Decree also sets out provisions which prevent landlords from disregarding repairs or neglecting to fix them in a timely manner.
What are tenants responsible for and what is classified as a ‘minor repair’?
Tenants in the Netherlands are responsible for any minor repairs that need to be done. This includes anything that is classified as a ‘minor repair’ according to Dutch law, such as small cracks or damages caused through normal wear and tear. Of course, it’s important to note that tenants must cover the costs of these minor repairs themselves. On the other hand, when it comes to major damages, those fall on the property owner rather than the tenant under Dutch law. Despite paying for minor repairs, tenants remain entitled to an environment in which their safety and well-being are not compromised – something that’s especially relevant given their limited involvement with larger repairs.
Please note the following:
- It’s the tenant’s responsibility to notify the owner immediately if something is wrong with the property regardless of who is responsible.
- The tenant can always get a second opinion to establish is the problem is due to them or due to the item being old and needing to be replaced.
Here is a link to the Minor Repairs Decree in English: http://www.dutchcivillaw.com/legislation/decreeonminorrepairs.htm
How to perform some of the repairs or maintenance checks:
Although some of the repairs are pretty straight forward others might be new to tenants, especially if they’re expats and the Dutch climate is very different to what they’re used to. Here are a few helpful tips:
- How to prevent your taps from freezing
Maintaining freezing taps is important, as freezing water can cause damage to the tap’s internal construction. The best way to prevent freezing taps is to ensure they are adequately insulated. This can be accomplished by wrapping the faucet with layers of insulation material such as foam pipe wrap or rubber insulation. Additionally, caulk can be used around any crevices that may allow air to pass through and potentially cool down the pipes. Oftentimes, the primary source of freezing starts deep within the piping- that’s why it’s important not only to take actions which prevent freezing on top but also at insulating pipes which might be vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Taking these steps can help significantly reduce instances of freezing taps and save homeowners from extra costs long term.
- If you have a useable chimney, how often does it need to be cleaned, whom can you contact to clean it in the Netherlands and what are the costs?
If you live in the Netherlands and have a functioning chimney, sweep it at least once a year for a thorough cleaning. However, if you use your fireplace frequently, then sweep it twice yearly as creosote can build up quickly and result in dangerous conditions. Professional chimney sweeps are available to help and should be contacted when possible. Most companies will inspect the entire system, sweep out creosote residue, remove animal nests or other debris, check the damper for proper operation and give advice on how to best maintain the fireplace going forward. The cost for these services is based largely on the size of your chimney and can range from just a few euros up to hundreds of euros depending on the complexity of the job.
- How to protect your rental home from dampness and mould?
Damp and mould can cause serious damage to your rental home if left unchecked. Taking some preventative measures can help to protect your property from dampness and mould. These measures include: ensuring that the property is well-ventilated, using damp-proof paint or membrane on walls and ceilings, fixing any leaks promptly, and keeping the property clean and free of clutter. If you do find mould in your rental home, it is important to deal with it promptly to avoid further damage.
- What to do if your sewerage is blocked
Sewerage blockages can be a nightmare to deal with and in the Netherlands, it’s no different. If you have sewerage problems, the best thing you can do is act quickly and try to fix it yourself if possible by using a sewer snake and flushing biodegradable cleaners down the drain. If that doesn’t work, there are many sewerage companies that operate nationwide that can come help solve your blockage problem. It’s important to remember that when sewerage systems become blocked, there is often a larger underlying problem such as roots from trees growing in the sewer line or even a cracked sewer pipe. That is why it is best to seek out professional help so you don’t end up needing more repair work than necessary.
As an expat in the Netherlands, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to repairing or maintaining your rental home. The Minor Repairs Decree protects tenants from being responsible for major repairs, but there are still some things that you may be expected to take care of. By understanding what the decree includes and how to perform some of the necessary maintenance tasks, you can help avoid any problems down the road. And if you’re ever unsure about something, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional realtor who can offer guidance and assistance – because at Expat Property Brokers that’s exactly what we’re here for!