When buying property in the Netherlands, the buyer has several rights which should be taken into account. According to Dutch law, the purchase of real estate is bound by legal formalities.

Sales contract

The purchase of a house or an apartment must be laid down in a contract in order to be legally valid. A verbal offer is not binding. Therefore, it is important that agreements regarding the purchase of a house or an apartment are drawn up in a contract as precisely as possible. A notary can assist you with this.

Cooling off period

When you have bought a property, you are given three days during which you are allowed to reconsider your purchase. This period of reflection starts the day after you receive the purchase contract which has been signed by both parties: the buyer and the seller. The cooling off period is meant to prevent one from making a rash or ill-considered decision which could bring about significant financial consequences.

Buying an apartment

When buying an apartment, other rules apply. When an apartment is purchased, one comes to own a specific part of the total object or apartment building. In order to learn about your rights and responsibilities as an apartment owner and the use of common facilities (elevator, stairs and garden for example), you can contact the association of owners (VVE). Therefore, it is important to know if an organised (and active) association of owners exists for your apartment building.

Hidden defects

As a buyer, you may expect the property which you have purchased to contain all the aspects required for normal use. Unfortunately, hidden defects could appear after moving into a house or apartment. Dutch law protects the buyer against certain instances of hidden defects.

More Insight:
Buying a house as an expat is simple! Or not? - 2 April 2017