At some stage you will want to move out  – or have to move out – of your rental accommodation. This means terminating the lease – either by you or the landlord. Both require particular protocols be followed.

When a tenant choses to vacate

If you wish to end the lease prior to the date given in the lease agreement, your landlord will need to approve this request. Simply walking out on the lease is considered a breach of contract, and you could be required to reimburse the landlord for all the money she/he lost as a result (for example, lost rent and re-advertising expenses).

Should the landlord agree to end the lease early, get this agreement in writing, signed by the landlord. Your contract should clearly state the terms of your lease e.g. short term or a minimum of 12 months.

Things are a little simpler if you have a 12 month lease and wish to terminate after the first 12 months. After 12 months you may terminate per month. Under this circumstance, you don’t need to give the landlord/agent any more than 30 days’ notice.

The landlord wants you to leave

Under no circumstance is the landlord allowed to force you to leave their property as the tenant is protected under Dutch law. The notice must be in writing, be signed by the landlord, state a reason for requesting you move out and give the date by when you should vacate the premises. A good example of this is when the owner wants to move back in the property. In that case they will have to demonstrate that they have no alternative. Always check with a legal party when in doubt.

If you preformed any illegal activities in the property or damaged the property, the landlord may take you to court, requesting you to fix the damage and leave the premises. The judge will rule over the verdict in this case.

Unfinished business

When you leave the premises, the landlord must return your deposit money.

There are circumstances where the landlord can keep all or part of the deposit money. For example, when rent is owing at the time the tenant moved out or the landlord gives written notice to the tenant of a claim to cover loss or damage caused by that tenant. In all cases the landlord should prove the default.

If your landlord/agent does not return your full bond without good reason, contact the “juridisch loket” for legal advice.

Make sure you leave your forwarding address with the landlord, as well as a contact phone number. The landlord/agent should be able to reach you, just in case you leave behind any possessions or to forward mail.

Properties should always be left thoroughly cleaned and degreased with a neat and tidy garden.

Finally, ensure the meters for any utilities are read on the day you move out. The readings should be passed on by you to the company you had a contract with. Unless this is carried out on the same day as you vacate the premises, you may be charged for a longer period than you were in residence.

Do you want advice? Please contact us!