Court: terminating rental agreement by e-mail is allowed!
The law in The Netherlands clearly states that
A formal notice of a (legal) action in a written document, such as a writ of summons or letter.
» Meer over giving notice giving notice to terminate a rental agreement is only possible by registered mail or with a bailiff. But nowadays, terminating by e-mail is apparently allowed. This is shown from a ruling by the court of Rotterdam. Dutch tenancy lawyer Thomas van Vugt discusses this remarkable ruling.
Notice of termination rental agreement by e-mail
Termination by email. This is legally not permitted, but the Subdisctrict court in this case allows this. The court explains its ruling as follows. In daily practice, the legal procedural rule of notice of termination by registered mail or bailiff’s summons is no longer observed. Also, the law does not explicitly state that if this rule is not observed, the termination is nullified. According to the court, notice of termination by e-mail is sufficient in the present communication traffic, especially since in the rental agreement the landlord gave his e-mail address in the contract details. The e-mail in question was sent to that email address.
Invoking general terms and conditions rental agreement?
The Subdisctrict court therefore finds that the rental agreement can be legally terminated by email. That the landlord invoked the stipulation in his general terms and conditions that notice of termination shall ‘only take place in writing (therefore not by e-mail)’ under these circumstances, according to the standards of reasonableness and fairness, is unacceptable.
Dutch tenancy lawyer: include the landlord’s e-mail address
This ruling can support those tenants confronted with a landlord who states that notice of termination of a rental agreement by e-mail is not legally valid. Tenants do have to make sure that they can always prove that the landlord has in fact received the e-mail with notice of termination. It is therefore a good idea to include the landlord’s e-mail address in the rental agreement and to request a notice of receipt when sending the e-mail.