Housing law

The lawyers specialising in administrative law at Hielkema & co are specialists in the field of the Dutch Housing Act and local housing by-laws. As a client, you benefit from our current and in-depth knowledge of this specific area of administrative law, how it is enforced and the associated enforcement law. We often litigate cases where an administrative fine for house sharing, housing creation or withdrawal of housing has been imposed because the party concerned does not have a permit.
We advise clients on permit applications, including following any objection and appeal procedures. By involving a specialist lawyer in good time, you can avoid administrative fines and remedial sanctions such as penalties for non-compliance.

Housing Act

The Dutch Housing Act [Huisvestingswet] offers municipalities the opportunity to regulate housing stock and how it is allocated. Municipalities are required to draw up local housing by-laws for this. Municipalities are more and more inclined to take advantage of this. This restriction on the potential uses of property often has far-reaching consequences for homeowners and landlords.

Withdrawal of housing, house sharing and housing creation

More and more municipalities have a permit requirement for house sharing/converting housing for room-based occupation and for creating housing (structural division) by converting large residential properties into several smaller ones. Besides requiring a permit to withdraw housing, housing owners often require a permit under the Dutch Letting of Residential Accommodation to Tourists (Registration and Sanctions) Act.
Owners who do not have a permit often incur high administrative fines. An administrative fine of up to € 21,750 can be imposed for renting out shared accommodation (house sharing) without the required permit, and where recidivism is concerned, this fine can go up to € 87,000.
Frequently asked questions concerning the Housing Act and housing by-laws include:
• Is a conversion permit required or is it a case of subtenancy?
• Are residential groups required to have a permit?
• When is an administrative fine for house sharing mitigated?
• What is the difference between a structural division (housing creation) and cadastral division by the land registry office?

Housing permits and purchase protection

The Housing Act also allows municipalities to regulate the occupation of housing based on housing permits. By making housing permits mandatory, municipalities can ensure that a certain type of housing, for instance social or mid-priced rentals, can only be occupied by a certain group, for instance those on a certain income. This means that landlords are obliged to rent mid-priced rented houses to households on middle incomes.
Since 1 January 2022, the Housing Act also has the option of introducing purchase protection in certain suburbs. This gives municipalities the option of introducing a rental ban for a period of four years after a property has been bought. An administrative fine can also be imposed for allowing housing to be occupied in contravention of this rental ban.

Hielkema & co: specialists in housing law

Thanks to our specialist knowledge, we are familiar with the ins and outs of the local housing by-laws and housing regulations in places such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden, The Hague and Utrecht. We advise landlords as well as administrative bodies throughout the Netherlands on questions concerning the Housing Act. If you have any questions, or if you are facing enforcement measures, then please call +31 (0)85 – 57822820 without obligation or complete the form and we’ll contact you.