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Can you force your landlord to install double glazing?

According to article 7:243 of the Dutch Civil Code (the so called 'right of initiative'), a tenant may request the court to determine that the landlord is obliged to install certain energy-saving facilities, provided that the tenant is willing to pay a reasonable rent increase for doing so. However, this article is limitative, which means that only the provisions mentioned in this article are covered by this regulation. The installation of double glazing is not specifically mentioned in this article. The provisions that are mentioned are:


- thermal insulation of the external partition constructions;


- thermal insulation of the structure forming the separation with the crawl space; and


- installing a boiler with a generation efficiency of at least 80%, if the existing boiler is at least 10 years old.

 

In addition, there is a ruling by the District Court of Amsterdam dated February 2, 2024 (ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2024:619) in which it was ruled that single glass in rental properties can, under circumstances, be considered a defect. In this particular case, it was ruled that the presence of single glass in the tenant's dwelling was a defect, among other things, because part of the dwelling had already been fitted with double glazing, the landlord already had a permit, and a quotation had also already been requested for fitting the double glazing. However, the landlord only wanted to install the double glazing at a rent increase.

 

However, this does not mean that single glass is necessarily a defect as of this ruling. Whether single glass can be considered a defect depends on the specific circumstances of the case, such as whether the tenant's enjoyment of his home has been reduced. The mere fact that better insulation of the dwelling is possible does not lead to the conclusion that this constitutes a defect.

 

So what to do?


So you could try to ask your landlord to install double glazing, but you can't (yet) enforce this on the basis of Section 7:243 of the Dutch Civil Code. That will probably only be possible from 2030, when homes with energy labels E, F and G may no longer be rented out. If your landlord refuses, you could possibly start proceedings and ask the court to assess whether the presence of single glass in your home is a defect. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that the judge will also consider this to be a defect, because it depends on the specific circumstances of your situation and the ruling of Feb. 2, 2024 does not make single glass a defect by definition.

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