Who is responsible for the maintenance of my rented house?

You are planning to rent a home. After a search, you have found the perfect house or apartment. You decide to rent it, and the contract is signed. But then what? What maintenance do you have to do yourself? And what does the landlord have to do?

The tenant has to behave like a good tenant. This means that the tenant takes care of the rented property and the environment. The tenant may not act in violation of the law. Of course, the landlord also has obligations too. The tenant and landlord together are responsible for the maintenance of the house.

  • The tenant is responsible for minor maintenance and minor repairs. Major maintenance and major repairs are provided by the landlord.
  • Minor maintenance and repairs that are carried out by the tenant must be low-cost and easy to do for the tenant.
  • When it comes to kitchen appliances, repairs under normal use are at the expense of the lessor. A blockage due to incorrect use is at the tenant’s expense.
  • The tenant must comply with the specialist who will correct the problem, providing access to the house.
  • Maintenance and repairs due to damage caused by the tenant must be repaired by the tenant.

Renting a fully-furnished home

When a house is fully furnished, the landlord provides all the furniture – the TV, bed(s), curtains, bedding, dishes, cutlery, pans, vacuum cleaner, TV, washer/dryer etc. In short, the house is ready to live in, just like a holiday home. The tenant can arrive with a suitcase of clothes and start living.

The landlord has placed all necessary things in the house. With normal use of the furniture, there is slow wear, beautifully named in English as ‘wear and tear’. The tenant must use the furniture in a ‘normal’way. This means that if there is some slow wear on a couch after a few years, this is not attributed to the tenant. When there are holes in the sofa, however, which cannot be assigned to old age or wear, this is not normal use, and the costs for replacement or repair will be attributed to the tenant.

Rent soft-furnished home

With a soft-furnished home, the property is equipped with carpeting (tiles, laminate, wood or carpet), lighting, window coverings, neat walls and, of course, a full kitchen with (built-in) appliances and a bathroom.



What is major maintenance?

The landlord provides the major maintenance. But what exactly is that? The clearest examples are listed below.

  • The exterior painting of the house
  • The inside painting of the house
  • Maintenance to the central heating system
  • Kitchen equipment maintenance/repair
  • Replacement or repair of furniture as a result of wear and tear (with a furnished house)
  • Repairing the roof gutters if broken
  • Etc.

What is small maintenance?

The tenant performs minor maintenance. The most common things are listed below.

  • Replacing a lamp
  • Cleaning the house
  • Replacing or repairing furniture due to improper use (with a furnished house)
  • Cleaning roof gutters
  • Etc.

Notification obligation

If the tenant discovers a defect, is disturbed by third parties (eg neighbors) or is confronted with a third party who believes he/she is entitled to the rented property, they must report this to the landlord because the landlord can limit the damage if the disturbance or legal privilege is known. If the tenant fails to produce a timely report, the landlord can hold the tenant liable for the damage caused by the negligence.

With this overview, we give the tenant and landlord insights into the obligations that they have regarding the maintenance of the house. Of course, both the landlord and the tenant want the rent/rental to be pleasant and the tenant’s rental to be as optimal as possible. That is why it is important that the landlord and tenant always consult when something needs to be done about the house.


This article is compiled with information provided by Stoit Groep – Property Agency. You can contact them on +31 (0) 40 2140660 or by email at info@stoit.nl.if you need more information.

Main picture by @Rawpixel, article pictures by Stoit Groep

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