Dutch Court prohibits short-term rental of Amsterdam apartments

It is common practice for apartment owners in Amsterdam to rent out their apartments on a short-term stay basis to tourists. A simple way of making a bit of extra cash in times of economic recession. But the Court in The Netherlands does condemn this practise: short stay letting is not allowed, unless explicitly permitted in the Regulations of the Owners’ Association. Dutch lawyer Thomas van Vugt, specialized in matters regarding Owners’ Associations, discusses recent case law.


Dutch regulations: apartment for residential purposes

The owner of a flat in an apartment complex, rented out his house once or twice a month to tourists for a maximum duration of a week. The owners’ association raised objection against this practice, mainly because the tourists often caused noise nuisance. They considered this commercial practise in violation with the condition in the Regulations that apartments are designated for residential purposes only. In an Owners’ Association meeting the majority of owners voted on favour of a ban of letting an apartment for periods shorter than one month. The lawyer of the Owners’ Association sent the flat owner a demand letter in which he demanded him to cease the letting of his apartment. The lawyer warned the owner that a fine of € 6.000.- would be imposed if the owner ignored the Owners’ Association demands. The flat owner could not put up with this decision and started legal proceedings in which he asked the Court to annul the decision of the Owners’ Association.

Short stay is contrary to designated purpose

The District Court dismissed the claim rigorously. Following the Owners’ Association’s regulations, the Association has every right to make this decision. Furthermore, the decision is not contrary to the principles of reasonableness and fairness. According to the judge “residential purpose” is taken to mean having a permanent residence in the apartment. This is not the case in short stay / B&B lettings. Regularly letting of an apartment to tourists is therefore in violation with the Regulations of the Owners’ Association. Besides, it cannot be said that the Owners’ Association acted unreasonable as it is plausible that the short stay activities cause noise nuisance.

Dutch lawyer for Owners’ Association

If you have questions about this subject or other matters involving Owners’ Associations and their decisions / regulations, please feel free to contact our law firm in Amsterdam for further information.