Measures against criminal tenants

08 July 2019

Are you a broker in the rental market or do you rent homes? Then it’s essential to know the risks of tenants who haven’t been checked. As a lessor, in certain cases, you could be liable for anything that happens in the house. In which circumstances are you, as a letting agent, liable? Below, you’ll read everything about the current situation, sanctions, and preventative measures against criminal activity.

Estate agent liability

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported in 2018 that police dismantled nearly 4,000 cannabis farms. That increases your odds as an estate agent of unexpectedly connecting with a tenant who is involved in illegal practices.

According to the Dutch Opium Law, local authorities are able to shut down a property when a certain amount of drugs is discovered there. Yet it’s not always just the tenant who gets charged. As a letting agent, you’re also at risk. If a letting agent fails to perform checks on how the tenant is using their residence, that can result in fines for the landlord or broker. Those fines can become as high as thousands of euros. In 2017, local authorities imposed a fine of €20,500 to the owner of a property where a cannabis grow site was discovered.

Letting agent's duty of care

The broker has a duty of care when it comes to checking up on the renter. Agreements regarding the consequences of risks and damages for the tenant must be put into writing and signed by both parties. This document also includes the implications of what happens if a cannabis farm or any other illegal practice is exposed.

Extra measures to avoid fines

Brokers must take extra measures in order to shield themselves from fines and unexpected costs. In order to avoid liability, the identity and background of a potential tenant should be checked to rule out unnecessary risk.

You can easily comply with this duty of care by using our combination test. It is a combination of the Consumer Check and the ID Check. It allows you to verify credit standing, criminal background, and the tenant’s identification documents. That way you know exactly who you’re doing business with, rather than painfully discovering the truth later on.

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