We are often asked if a landlord can just enter the room that you are renting without any notice. For tenants, landlords and even for the police, it’s not always clear how to deal with such cases. Apparently, this requires some clarification.
What do we mean by trespassing?
Trespassing is penalized under Article 138 of the Dutch Criminal Code, and is described as follows:
- He who is illegally entering or staying at the residence, private building or property, that is in use by another, or will not immediately depart after the demand of the rightful claimant, will be punished with imprisonment of at most six months or a fine of the third category.
- He who has gained access through break-in, with the use of false keys, a false order or a false uniform, or without knowledge of the rightful claimant and other than by mistake, and is found there in the time appointed for night rest, is considered to have entered illegally.
- If he is threatening or using means to instill fear, he will be punished with imprisonment of at most one year or a fine of the third category.
- The imprisonment determined in the first and third subsection may be increased by one-third, if two or more persons are committing the crime.
The undesirable intrusion of a student room can also be considered as trespassing.
How about that for a student room?
As stated in the above article of the Dutch Criminal code, the term “residence” is used. But does this also include a student room? The legislator uses an objective definition of a residence: the space must be known as a residence. These are spaces equipped and intended for exclusive residence for one person or a limited number of people who share a household. This means that the undesirable intrusion of a student room can also be considered as trespassing. So this means that a landlord entering your student room without your permission is trespassing.
But what if your landlord or his employees want to enter the house because of renovations, does this change things? No, without explicit permission from the people living there the landlord is not allowed to enter, nor can anyone who works for him. If they do so anyway, it is considered trespassing. However, as a tenant you are expected to cooperate in the repair of any defects. In order to perform ant tasks related to the maintenance of the property, the landlord has to make an appointment with the tenant(s); he cannot just enter the house without notice and permission.
What to do in case of trespassing
Initially, you should point out the obligations that the landlord has. You can tell him he can only enter the house after consulting with you. If he continues entering the house without permission, or refuses to leave, he is guilty of trespassing (art. 138 Criminal Code) and you can report this to the police.
Are you dealing with a landlord who enters your house unannounced? Please feel free to contact Frently.