The landlord is selling the property. I am in the “high-risk” category for contracting the virus. What legal rights do I have to stop the landlord and others from coming into our home?

In the event of sale, the obligations of the tenant with regards to property viewings may be stated in the general terms and conditions of the lease contract. A mutual agreement with your landlord due to Covid-19 is possible. In case of not getting an agreement, we recommend seeking professional advice or get legal guidance. A number of organisations can assist you concerning disputes with your landlord.

For additional information:

Can I be evicted if I lose my job?

No one can be thrown out of their home during the Covid-19 pandemic, except in case of criminal activity or extreme nuisance.

Temporarily, tenants who have lost their income and are unable to pay the rent cannot be evicted. For tenants with permanent rental contracts, a judge’s permission is needed. If your landlord still wants to evict you, it is best to get in touch with a lawyer at the public legal advisory service Het Juridisch Loket or the Legal Expat Desk.

Losing a job is not a basis for eviction, but not paying the rent is. If you no longer have an income and have no financial resources to continue paying the rent, you need to try reaching an agreement with the landlord about a mutually acceptable arrangement until you find employment or other sources of income.

You are expected to actively look for a solution that will enable you to take care of your needs and fulfill your obligations, like paying the rent. You should check to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits while looking for a job. If you receive the benefits, you may be able to pay the rent at least partially until you find work again.

If you do not qualify for unemployment benefits, financial and other forms of support are available through municipal social services. Information about types of support and conditions can be found on municipal websites.

The following FAQs on our website regarding social benefits, unemployment, and housing may also be of interest to you:


What should I do if my temporary lease ends due to Covid-19?

You can ask for an extension of up to three months and maybe longer. Under emergency legislation enacted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, rental contracts (leases) can be extended for three months, until 1 September 2020 at the most, and potentially another three months.

The Emergency Act applies to temporary rental agreements of fewer than two years for regular living space and five years for room rental. It relates to the rental period that expires between 31 March 2020 and 1 July 2020.

The landlord can terminate a temporary rental contract by informing the tenant in writing one to three months before the end date. The tenant also has the right to terminate the contract prematurely.

Under the Emergency Act, there are several possibilities, depending on when the landlord informs the tenant:

  • If the landlord had informed the tenant before 12 March 2020, the lease can only be extended if the landlord and tenant agree in writing. The extension can be for one to three months, at the latest until 1 September 2020. If the parties cannot agree, the original end date applies.
  • If the landlord informed the tenant in the legally prescribed manner after the Emergency Act came into effect, he must also inform the tenant about the possibility of extension under the Emergency Act. Within one week of the landlord’s notification, the tenant can request an extension of the contract in writing for one to three months, maximum until 1 September 2020.

The landlord has one week to refuse the request, but only for the following reasons. The landlord:

  • has sold the property to a third party and has undertaken to transfer the property to a third party free of rent and use
  • has re-rented the property and the lease commences
  • wants to live in the property himself and no longer has any other accommodation
  • wants to renovate the property, which is not possible without termination of the rental, and has undertaken with third parties to make the house available for rental and use
  • wants to demolish the property and has undertaken with third parties to make the house available for rental and use for that purpose on a date that is before the expiry of the extension requested by the tenant and the landlord has entered into the obligation before 1 April 2020.

The landlord can also refuse the request for an extension if the tenant has not behaved as a good tenant.

The emergency law provides for the possibility of extending rental contracts after 1 September 2020 so that already extended contracts can be extended once more.


Additional information about legal matters and housing:

I have recently moved to the Netherlands and I don’t have a BSN number. Is it possible to have health insurance without a BSN number?

It is not possible to obtain Dutch health insurance without a burgerservicenummer (BSN – citizen service number).

If you are coming to stay in the Netherlands for more than four months, you are required to have a  residence permit and BSN.  The BSN It is required for starting a job in the Netherlands, opening a bank account, using the health care system, applying for benefits, etc. When you are legally living or working in the Netherlands for longer than four months, it is compulsory to get Dutch health insurance. This is  the so-called basisverzekering (basic insurance). It may take a while before you can get your BSN.  If you need medical help while you don’t have your BSN yet,  you can get the necessary care but will probably have to pay for it yourself. Once you have a health insurance, you can send the bill to your health insurance company and they will refund it according to their policy.

If you are temporarily residing in the Netherlands (fewer than four months), you are not obliged to take out Dutch health insurance. If you do not have a BSN, you are not registered in the Netherlands. If you still would like to take out Dutch health insurance, you will need to apply at the Social Security Office (Sociale Verzekeringbank – SVB). If you are working, it is likely that the request will not be accepted. In that case, you should make sure to extend the international or travel insurance from your home country.

If you have further questions, contact the SVB on 020 656 4848.

For more information related to your first three months in the Netherlands:

I recently arrived in the Netherlands just as the many restrictions started. I have tried to register with several doctors and have been unsuccessful. What can I do?

Registering with a general practitioner (huisarts) is advisable but not required. Registering may be complicated as many practices may be full. Together with health insurers, health care providers and patient organisations, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (Ministerie van VWS) ensures that there are sufficient facilities and that people have sufficient choices. However, you must find your own doctor.

To search for a local doctor, check the ZorgkaartNederland website (in Dutch) and enter your postcode. For more information you can contact your health insurer or your municipality.

For more general information about relocating to the Netherlands, specifically the formalities needed for your first three months of stay: