Is a short-term lease of a studio apartment permitted?

Renting out one’s own apartment as a holiday home: is that permitted or not? Many rulings have been made on this issue, but it remains controversial. Recently, an owners’ association acted against such rental practices. The issue of whether renting out one’s home is covered by permitted use, was addressed in appeal. Dutch VvE (owners’ association) lawyer Thomas van Vugt discusses the ruling.

Renting out separate part of studio apartment

This case concerns the studio apartment of an apartment owner, consisting of a space on the ground floor and living accommodations on the first floor. The ground floor can also be used separately for commercial crafts. From 2011 onwards, the owner has offered the ground floor as a holiday home. He did not ask the permission of the owners’ association for this. The owners’ association has asked the owner to cease this use, because the regulations do not allow renting out the apartments as holiday homes. The owner refused and the owners’ association brought the case before the court. The court ruled in favour of the owners’ association and orders the owner to cease the rental practices.

Owner appeals conviction ruling

The appeal focuses on the deed of division. The description that the space can be used for crafts means that this cannot include the commercial renting out of the space itself as a holiday home. That is not using it for crafts. The commercial use for crafts has to take place in that space. The commercial activities for the rental are not taking place in the studio apartment, but elsewhere. Also, the definition of ‘commercial crafts’ cannot be stretched to such an extent that the link to crafts is completely lost.

Use of ground floor as living accommodation is irrelevant

The fact that the ground floor can be used as living accommodation, as the owner argues, is irrelevant. The owner (or an entitled party, such as a regular tenant) can use both the first floor and the ground floor as living accommodation. However, owners are not obliged to use the ground floor for commercial crafts.

Use as holiday home contrary to deed of division

Nevertheless, using the apartment as holiday home is not the same as using the apartment for permanent or regular residential purposes under the deed of division. The rental as holiday home is therefore not consistent with the deed of division. The owners’ association is thus entitled to act legally against such use. The owners’ association wants to prevent (parts of) apartments being used by non-permanent residents and according to the Court of Appeal, the owners’ association has a legitimate interest in this matter. The Court of Appeal in the Netherlands therefore confirms the court ruling.