25 July 2023
Renovation, mortgage and permits
Lisa Grondsma
Financial Specialist

Imagine you just found your dream home and have already started dreaming about the grand renovation: changing doors or windows, adding an extension to the garden or changing the layout. Or you may already own a home and are considering making some changes. It's good to know that the housing sector in the Netherlands is well-regulated.

For any minor or major renovation project, you likely require approval from your VVE (Vereniging van Eigenaren or Homeowners Association) or a permit from the municipality, depending on what you want to change. In this blog article, we overview the most requirements and regulations you may encounter if you want to make your home changes.

Renovation permits in the Netherlands

When purchasing an apartment, you acquire more than just the living space. Along with the apartment, you also obtain the exclusive right of use, known as the apartment right, which encompasses a portion of the building. Furthermore, you become a co-owner of the entire building, sharing ownership with the other residents.

Before starting the renovation, such as adding a rooftop terrace, balcony, additional storage, or making structural changes, it is important to consult with your VVE and municipality to check if the renovation requires a permit. The specific type of permit required depends on the extent of the changes being proposed.

Vereniging van Eigenaren  (Home Owner's Association)

The VvE ( Vereniging van Eigenaren) is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and insurance of the building and serving the owners' collective interests in matters related to the care of the property. When buying apartments in the Netherlands,  you are automatically enrolled in a Vereniging van Eigenaren (VvE), an owners' association.

Here are some adjustments that require Vve permission: 

  • Roof terraces
    You will need VvE's permission to extend or add a rooftop terrace to your apartment. The roof is considered a shared area, collectively owned by the apartment owners. In some cases, specific conditions may be attached to this permission, including agreements regarding maintenance costs and liability.

  • Sunshades
    Installing a sunshade can provide a slight cooling effect inside your apartment, which is especially pleasant during hot days. However, there are certain considerations to consider before proceeding with its installation. Every VvE association has a set of Model Regulations that outline the necessary procedures.

    According to these regulations, obtaining permission from the owners' meeting is mandatory to install sunshades and other protruding objects. Therefore, if you intend to install sun blinds or air conditioning, the first step is to include this request on the meeting agenda. The VvE will then vote on the matter during the meeting.

  • Windows
    Installing new plastic frames in your apartment requires permission from the VvE, even if it is meant to enhance the living space. Failure to obtain permission and proceed with the installation may lead the VvE to take legal action against you. Based on the deed of division, the court will likely side with the VvE, resulting in an order to remove the window frames.

    Good to know: To prevent inconveniences such as removing an awning or air conditioning, it is advisable to always seek permission from the VvE before making any modifications to your apartment. Doing so ensures compliance with the regulations and guidelines set by the owners' association.

Making agreements with VvE

It is crucial to understand that obtaining permission from the VvE is individual and personal. Documenting such agreements in a user agreement is customary, where various aspects can be recorded, such as maintenance costs, insurance premiums, and more. The contract needs to specify that the use is both personal and temporary. In some cases, if you move away from the apartment block, it may be necessary to dismantle the roof terrace when you relocate. Selling the roof terrace is prohibited unless you obtain the exclusive right of use, which grants you the authority to transfer ownership.

Several factors hold significant importance for a municipality when undertaking a construction project. These include ensuring the residents' safety, enhancing the quality of life within the neighbourhood, and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the renovation. Whether the project requires a permit depends on certain aspects, such as the location or the need for structural changes. Relevant alterations may include things like the demolishing of a load-bearing wall or building a skylight which requires a new opening.

If undertaking a project requiring these structural changes, you must submit a permit application to your local municipality. The purpose of doing so is to ensure that your renovation plans are by local building codes and ordinances, which helps guarantee that all structures are safe and consistent.

Tips to remember
  • Always check in with VvE and your local municipality.

  • Always hold a contract between you and your contractor.

  • Always leave extra time for your project.

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Meet the team
Sezer Yilmaz
Egle Kemezyte
Growth Marketer
Robin Uijtdehaage
Client Director & Financial Specialist
Lisa Grondsma
Financial Specialist