Real estate—Netherlands—Q&A guide
Real estate—Netherlands—Q&A guide

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Real estate—Netherlands—Q&A guide
  • 1. How would you explain your jurisdiction’s legal system to an investor?
  • 2. Does your jurisdiction have a system for registration or recording of ownership, leasehold and security interests in real estate? Must interests be registered or recorded?
  • 3. What are the legal requirements for registration or recording conveyances, leases and real estate security interests?
  • 4. What are the requirements for non-resident entities and individuals to own or lease real estate in your jurisdiction? What other factors should a foreign investor take into account in considering an investment in your jurisdiction?
  • 5. If a non-resident invests in a property in your jurisdiction, are there exchange control issues?
  • 6. What types of liability does an owner or tenant of, or a lender on, real estate face? Is there a standard of strict liability and can there be liability to subsequent owners and tenants including foreclosing lenders? What about tort liability?
  • 7. How can owners protect themselves from liability and what types of insurance can they obtain?
  • 8. How is the governing law of a transaction involving properties in two jurisdictions chosen? What are the conflict of laws rules in your jurisdiction? Are contractual choice of law provisions enforceable?
  • 9. Which courts or other tribunals have subject-matter jurisdiction over real estate disputes? Which parties must be joined to a claim before it can proceed? What is required for out-of-jurisdiction service? Must a party be qualified to do business in your jurisdiction to enforce remedies in your jurisdiction?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to real estate in Netherlands published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: October 2020).

Authors: Allen & Overy LLP—Alexander van Hovell; Soufjan El Baroudi; Seppe Stax

1. How would you explain your jurisdiction’s legal system to an investor?

The Netherlands has a civil law legal system with a Civil Code, originally introduced by Napoleon. A major and long-lasting legislative process led to the introduction of a new Civil Code in 1992. Parties have the possibility to obtain injunctions to prevent an action. Courts do not rule in equity, although the principle of ‘reasonableness and fairness’ is set as a general standard of conduct for parties to an obligation and may be used to set aside or amend a contractual provision. The standard of ‘good faith’ refers to the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing. For an agreement to be valid in the Netherlands it is not required that it be written – an orally concluded agreement is just as binding as a written one, and can also be enforced in court (some exceptions apply, such as the acquisition of a residential property by an individual who is not acting in the course of his or her profession or business, which requires a written agreement). Laws applicable to real

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