House sharing in Amsterdam: is it legal?


House sharing in Amsterdam is popular among students and young professionals living in Amsterdam. Due to the high rents, people are not always able to rent a whole apartment, and choose to share an apartment with others. Even though house sharing sounds pretty great, it does have some negative consequences. For example, the rents which are charged are fom the tenants are quite high, and the neighbours can experience noise disturbance. House sharing is a topic on which we get many questions, both from tenants and landlords. For this reason we decided to pay some attention to this topic in this blog. If you have any questions regarding house sharing, please feel free to get in touch.

House sharing: change of law since January 2017

In January 2017 there has been an important change with regard to house sharing in the so-called “Huisvestingsverordening”, which is a ruling put into place by the municipality of Amsterdam. Until January 2017 it was possible to rent out a house to more than two tenants, without a permit from the municipality of Amsterdam being required. This has changed from January 2017. Since this date, the municipality considers houses shared with more than two people as so-called non-independent living spaces (“onzelfstandige woonruimte”), instead of an independent living space. This has multiple legal consequences. Next to the fact that a permit is now required for (most of the) landlords who have been renting out a house to two or more people, the rent that can be asked for such living space has also been limited by law.

House sharing: permit requirements

A permit for house sharing can be requested for at the municipality of Amsterdam. There are however different requirements which will need to be met before a permit will be provided. For example, there are requirements concerning the lay-out of the house, sound insulation and fire prevention. The requirements differ per house, as well as the location and the amount of people to which the house will be rented out to.

House sharing: permit exeptions

House sharing without a permit is possible if the house is shared with maximum two people, or if a part of the house is rented out as a so-called “hospita” (also referred to as: “inwoning“).  The municipality of Amsterdam has the following requirements for legally renting out a house as a hospita:

  • The person renting out must live in the apartment itself;
  • The person renting out has at least 50% of the apartment for own exclusive use;
  • The remaining 50% can be rented out to maximum two other tenants (note: or two households);
  • The person renting out shares one or more appliances with the tenants it is subletting to (e.g. the bathroom);
  • Each tentant should have at least 12 m2 for itself; and
  • Consent from the house owner is required if it concerns a rental property.

There are some other situations in which a permit is not required in order to share a house with more than two people. A permit is not necessary for the so-called “woongroepen“, which have been signed up before January 2017, student houses recognized by the municipality and bed & breakfasts. Please be aware that for these forms of living there are other requirements which apply.

House sharing: enforcement

The rules regarding house sharing are said to be enforced stricter by the municipality of Amsterdam. The reason is the inconvenience caused by illegal living situations for neighbours and local residents. In order to enfore this, the municipality of Amsterdam has set up a center where local residents can complain and report residential fraud. The municipality responds to such claims and can decide to follow up with an investigation to the concerning situation. When the municipality discovers that a property is rented out without the necessary permit, they can impose a fine of up to €20.500. Further, the municipality can summon to stop the illegal situation and impose an additional fine for each day the illegal situation continues.

WeAreLawyers is happy to advise you on multiple housing matters, review your rental agreement and answer any questions you may have regarding housing situations as desribed in this blog. Please feel free to get in touch with us.

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