Apartment rights

When you purchase an apartment, you and any other owners have the right to the land: the ground lease right.

    Apartment rights are drawn up when a building is divided into separate independent apartments. Your apartment right covers:

    • your right to use an apartment
    • a share in the joint ownership of the building and everything which falls under this (the common areas, shared facilities and the ground lease right to the land).

    Act of division

    The act of division also establishes the homeowners association (VvE) and lays down the rights and duties of each apartment owner. The act describes how the apartment rights are allocated, what your responsibilities are and what the responsibilities of the VvE are. The act also states how the building is divided and the proportion of the shared costs which you have to pay. The leasehold is part of the common property. For more information see Dividing, changing and merging ground lease rights.

      The ground lease right will expire

      The members of a homeowners association (VvE) share 1 ground lease right.

      • When that right expires, the municipality will offer every owner a share in the new ground lease right equal to each apartment right.
      • Once all the apartments have a new share in the ground lease right, the new right of all the apartment owners must be recorded in a legal act at a notary.
      • All the members of the VvE sign the legal act for the new right at a notary.

      Because apartment owners sign a new ground lease right at different times, it can take a long time before the new ground lease right is recorded in a legal act.

      • Because the new ground rent needs to take effect, an obligatory agreement will be signed for each apartment right.
      • After signing this agreement, you and the municipality are bound to the terms agreed.
      • In accordance with the agreement, the municipality will issue invoices which you must pay.
      • You cannot change or cancel these agreements independently yourself.

      For more information, see Leasehold contract expires within 15 years.

      Obligatory agreement and purchasing or selling an apartment or renewing a mortgage

      • Until the new right is recorded in a legal act, the obligatory agreement is the only proof of the agreements made.
      • This agreement will only be issued to you once.
      • The obligatory agreement is thus an important document. You must keep it with the proof of ownership (notarial deeds) for the residential property.
      • The agreements made also apply to any future leaseholders.
      • This agreement is generally accepted by most lenders when applying for a mortgage or renewing the terms of the mortgage.
      • When selling your apartment, the buyer’s estate agent, notary and mortgage lender will ask for the agreement.
      • You must give the agreement to the new leaseholder when you sign the transfer of deeds at the notary.

      Owning the land

      Because you and the other apartment owners each have 1 ground lease right, the ownership of the land must be purchased jointly from the municipality. Before doing so, there must be unanimous agreement between you and your neighbours (members of the VvE). The purchase of the land must be recorded in a legal act at a notary. For more information see From ground lease to own land.

      Amending apartment rights

      Anyone wishing to extend their apartment by adding a roof terrace or other roof structure must first obtain permission from the other apartment owners in the VvE. The change must be recorded in an amendment to the act of division at a notary. Ask your notary for advice. The municipality must also agree to the amendment to the legal act.

      More information

      Look for more information on Dividing, changing and merging ground lease rights and under Ground lease.

      Published: 7 April 2022Modified: 7 April 2022