Home sharing

As of 1 April 2020 the municipality will enforce the new rules on house sharing. Landlords must therefore have a permit to rent out non-self-contained rooms.

What is house sharing?

House sharing occurs when several households live together in one house. This is not the case when you live with your partner, but when you share a house with one or more friends. This means that you share facilities such as a kitchen, toilet and shower.

How does house sharing work?

On 1 January 2017 new rules came into effect regarding house sharing. These new rules include the right to choose your own roommates, the minimum size of 15m2 (on average) per room has been dropped and all tenants no longer have to be listed on the tenancy agreement as co-tenants.

There are now two ways to legally share accommodation: hospita rental and room-by-room rental. The second variant applies to most students. The cohousing group has been abolished as a licence-free form of house-sharing.

You will find the rules for room-matched rental and hospita rental further on this page.

What does ASVA think about home sharing?

Many students in Amsterdam share their accommodation with others. For many of these students this has a primarily social function: it is pleasant to share your home with peers and friends. According to ASVA, home-sharing is also an asset to the city: it keeps all parts of the city, including the centre, habitable for young people and students who would otherwise be banished to the outskirts.

Although it is a good thing that there is now a licence requirement for room-sharing, according to ASVA the regulations are not yet complete. Many landlords are now resorting to head-tenant constructions, whereby only one or two tenants are on the official lease, while the rest pay their rent to these head-tenants. This leads to sky-high rents that are difficult for the residents to challenge, as not all of them are official tenants.

It also happens frequently that tenants are evicted for fear of, or as a result of, enforcement by the municipality. According to ASVA, it is unacceptable that people are evicted as a result of municipal regulations.

In addition, the requirements regarding sound insulation make it unattractive for owners to apply for a permit. Especially for the old houses within the A10, the main ring road, it often costs a lot of money to rebuild the house in such a way that it meets the requirements. Many landlords therefore choose not to apply for a permit. As soon as the enforcement authorities come knocking on the door, the landlords evict the tenants. In addition, it has not been proven that student houses, certainly with 3 or 4 residents, cause more noise pollution than, for example, a family with young children.

ASVA is committed to the following points:

  • Every resident gets a rental contract;
  • There will be checks on the rent of a room;
  • Contracts will be checked in advance for compliance with tenancy law;
  • The noise requirements for living in a flat will be eased.

‘Renting by the room’

So called ‘Renting by the room’ happens when a house is occupied by several adults, unless the occupants form a single household, or if there is a hospice rental.

A permit is not required for roomwise letting to two households. Because of this, you often see that landlords want to rent out houses to just two students, while the price remains the same as with more residents, and there are often more than two bedrooms. Extra tenants cannot register at that address and since they do not have a tenancy agreement, they do not enjoy rent protection either.

Letting rooms to three or more households is only permitted with a permit for converting self-contained to non-self-contained accommodations. The permit is granted if the conditions set are met. Incidentally, this permit can easily be cancelled if the landlord wants to let or sell the property normally again.

The conditions are intended to prevent nuisance and protect the composition of the housing stock. If students share a house, this is at the expense of living space for families, for example.

For residences shared by 3 or 4 households, the conditions are that there must be a common room of at least 11m2 and with a minimum width of 3m, and that the requirements regarding sound insulation are met.

Because it is assumed that the chance of nuisance is greater when the number of non-independent residences increases, and in the interest of preserving the stock of large residences, more conditions are imposed when converting to 5 or more non-independent residences. For a complete overview of the conditions, see here.

Since the new regulations came into force on 1 January 2017, ASVA has received many signals from students who have been evicted by their landlords because more than two people had been living at their place. This is often in violation of rent law. If you find yourself in such a situation, please contact our legal office via rechtsbureau@asva.nl

A permit is not required for conversion to non-self-contained student accommodation, which is rented with a campus contract and recognised by the municipality as student accommodation.

‘Hospita’ rental

In the case of a landlord-tenant or owner-occupier, a tenant or owner-occupier rents out part of their house where they have their main residence to another household. In this case, the resident household is not living independently. The household is dependent on the main tenant or owner-occupier.

The following conditions apply to hospice rental and/or live-in accommodation:

  • The landlord or tenant themselves have their main residence in the house;
  • The property is sublet or occupied by one or two households;
  • The landlord has the exclusive right of use to at least 50% of the usable area of the residential property;
  • Within the part of the accommodation that is rented out to the subtenants, there is an average of 12 m2 usable area available per subtenant.

Hospice work and living in accommodation is not only possible in free sector housing. There is also the possibility of renting out rooms in social housing. In both cases permission of the owner/landlord is needed. Please note: There are rules for hospita lettings with regard to rent law, rent allowance and income tax. See government website, hospitakamers, unfortunately only in Dutch.