Apartment owners’ associations (VvE)
When you buy an apartment in the Netherlands you automatically become part of a Vereniging van Eigenaren (VvE), or owners' association, giving you shared ownership of the building.
Decisions about your property
VvE membership is mandatory and you will have to abide by the VvE rules and regulations. Every apartment owner is automatically a member of the VvE owners' association. You cannot opt out or end your VvE membership unless you sell the apartment, in which case the new owner will automatically join the VvE. The VvE manages the care of the building and serves the owners' communal interests including issues like maintenance and insurance. All VvEs are bound by Dutch rules and regulations. Individual VvEs can have additional rules set in the splitsingsakte (deed of division) and splitsingsreglement (property division regulations). These rules are legally binding. Non-compliance, such as non-payment of the mandatory financial VvE contribution, could eventually even result in losing your apartment.
Shared maintenance regulations
Notaries have drawn up standard deeds of division. The most commonly used are the Modelreglement 1973, Modelreglement 1983, Modelreglement 1992, Modelreglement 2006 and Modelreglement 2017. The model reglement (model regulations) in the deed of division will continue to apply even after newer versions become available.
The deed of division and the property division regulations contain rules and regulations regarding the management and maintenance of the building and the VvE board. Individual VvEs have different rules so it is very important to know the deed of division and the property division regulations that apply to your apartment. The property division regulations include things like your share in the communal ownership (breukdeel); finances, debts and costs; reporting and keeping notes; insurances; use, management and maintenance of the shared parts of the building; violations; selling the apartment; statutes (meetings, board, committees); and internal regulations.
Responsibilities as a VvE member
VvEs are governed by a board, which works according to the law, the deed of division and/or to decisions made during VvE meetings. VvE meetings are held periodically and each VvE member (each apartment owner) has the right to vote. The board does not have to be made up of VvE members, unless the splitsingsreglement property division regulation says it should be. The VvE can also hire an external manager to take over some of the board’s duties, which many large VvEs choose to do. The board is then made up of one or more of the VvE members, but the external manager executes various tasks on behalf of the VvE. VvEs are funded by the owners of the apartments. It’s mandatory to be a member and pay a financial contribution. Non-payment could even result in owners losing their apartment. VvEs are obliged to build sufficient reserves to do the necessary maintenance to the outer shell and the communal areas of the building such as the roof, lifts, stairwells and walkways.
Find out more
If you own an apartment in the Netherlands, it’s important to be aware of your VvE owners’ association. IN Amsterdam partner !WOON gives confidential information and advice and holds regular free seminars on VvEs (in Dutch). For further details, please check the !WOON calendar. More information on VvEs is available on the !WOON website.