Who is responsible for maintenance?

When it comes to big maintenance of a rental, the responsibility lies with the landlord. For example, he or she is responsible for taking care of repairing damages such as leakage, for maintenance of frames, replacing locks and doors of renovation of the facades. But also reparations such as replacing a broken heater, showerhead or toilet seat are for the landlord’s account.

Small and daily maintenance, along with the repair of damages that you caused yourself, are on your account as the tenant. If the landlord also takes care of these small daily repairs, he or she is allowed to charge you in the form of service costs. However, this is only the case when you and your landlord discussed and agreed on this explicitly.

Look for more information about the maintenance of a rented accommodation on the website of the dutch government (NL).

In case there might still be a dispute over the maintenance of the rented living space, then you can (as a tenant) consult the municipal department of Construction- and living supervision. The municipality will (if your complaint is considered valid) send a letter to the landlord, stating a request to still carry out the repairs. If your landlord does not respond, the municipality can decide to carry out the repairs themselves, and hold the landlord accountable for the costs.

A second option is to present the dispute to a judge. If the judge agrees with you, then the landlord can be forced in a number of ways to still fulfil his of her duties:

  • The landlord can be asked to disband one part of the contract. In this case it means that the landlord is only allowed to receive a part, or no rent for as long a she or she has not fulfilled the duties related to maintenance and/or repairs.
  • The landlord can be given a penalty when he or she does not abide.
  • The tenant can receive an authorisation to carry out the maintenance or repairs, or to hire someone for them. The costs can then be passed on to the landlord. The tenant and landlord can (in consultation with the judge) come to an agreement to compensate the costs with the rent.