Buying: I have just bought a house and found a previously undetected defect. What can I do?

If you buy a house, you have an obligation of inspection. As a buyer you must investigate whether there are any defects. The seller, on the other hand has an obligation to inform you of all defects known to him that prevent normal use of the property. Sometimes there are hidden defects that were present during the sale of the house, but of which you were unaware at the time. In principle, from the transfer of ownership onwards, any hidden defects will be for the buyer’s account.

However, there are situations in which the seller can be held liable. For instance, if the defects are so serious that they do not allow normal use of house or if the seller has lied about defects or has tried to hide them.

If you discover hidden defects, you must contact the seller as soon as possible. If the seller does not cooperate in remedying the defect, you can go to court to enforce this cooperation.

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Related questions

  • Leasing: Can my landlord increase the rent?

    In principle, the lessor may increase the rent once every 12 months. A second rent increase within the same year is allowed only after improvements of the premises.

    The Dutch government annually sets a maximum percentage by which the rent may be increased for the non-liberalized (social) housing sector.

    This maximum rent increase is not applicable to the liberalized housing sector. If you have a non-liberalized tenancy agreement, this agreement usually stipulates which rent increase you can expect. You and your landlord are bound to the agreed rent increase and you, therefore, must pay this rent increase each year. However, if no such rent increase is included in your tenancy agreement, your landlord can propose a rent increase proposal. If you do not agree with the proposal, your landlord can go to court. The court may rule that the proposal is reasonable. In that case, you can either agree with the rent increase or your tenancy agreement will be terminated.

  • Leasing: What obligations do I have as a tenant? And what are my landlord’s obligations?

    The landlord’s main obligations are:

    • Making available the rented property
    • Ensuring that the rented property is free from defects
    • Repairing defects of the premises (unless this is impossible or requires an outlay which may not reasonably be required from the landlord in the given circumstances)

    The tenant’s main obligations are:

    • Paying rent
    • Using the rented property respectfully and in accordance with its purpose
    • At the end of the rental period: returning the rented property in the same condition in which it was accepted according to the description at the start of the rental period (unless agreed upon otherwise or if no description was made)
    • Making minor repairs
  • Buying: what is a Vereniging van Eigenaars (VvE) and how does it work?

    A Vereniging van Eigenaars (VvE) is an owners’ association. If you buy an apartment, you automatically become a member of the owners’ association. Membership cannot be cancelled and lasts as long as you are owner of the apartment. All other apartment owners within your apartment complex are also members of the owners’ association.

    Together with your neighbours, you are responsible for the management and maintenance of the building and the common areas within that building. In this context, the owners’ association is legally required to reserve money in a reserve fund. Owners pay a contribution every month.

    An owners’ meeting in which all members of the owners’ association can participate is held at least once a year. During this meeting, important decisions are taken on the basis of votes. The chairman chairs the owners’ meeting. In addition, the owners’ association can have a board.