Housing in The Hague

Housing: temporary vs permanent lease

When expats first move to the Netherlands, they often rent an accommodation while getting to know the area. As with many legal matters, tenancy laws differ from country to country. In general, the Netherlands is a country with strong protection for tenants. Broadly put, there are two types of leases: temporary and permanent leases. Most tenants are offered a temporary lease at first. So here’s what you need to know about temporary and permanent leases.

This post was reviewed and updated on 28 August 2020


Even when the lease is of a temporary nature, the landlord needs a statutory reason to terminate the lease before its stated end date. If the tenant does not agree to termination, termination can only be put into force by a judge. Temporary contracts do prevent the tenant from leaving prematurely. They also prevent the landlord from starting termination proceedings prematurely.

New legislation

In July 2016, there was a change in the law concerning temporary leases. Under this new scheme, landlords may offer tenants a temporary lease of two years or less (independent accommodation) or five years or less (shared housing). The landlord must notify the tenant if they plan to continue the lease at least one month before the end of the lease (but no more than three months beforehand).

In this situation, the lease ends without intervention of a judge. If the landlord fails to notify the tenant on time, the lease automatically becomes a permanent lease. Under this new legislation, it is also possible for a tenant to terminate a lease ahead of the official end date.

Permanent lease

Any lease which is extended beyond the two year or five year period automatically becomes a permanent lease. This means the lease has no automatic termination period. A tenant may choose to end the lease early, for any reason, as long as he or she gives proper notice to the landlord. On the other hand, the landlord must meet statutory reasons to end a permanent lease and needs approval from a judge to do so, if the tenant does not agree.

More information?

If you have any questions regarding your lease, please do not hesitate to contact us.