Agricultural tenancy law


Under Dutch law, an instrument called a ground lease (pacht in Dutch) has traditionally been used as a means of allowing third-party tenants to ‘rent’ agricultural land. Given that farmers are financially dependent on their land and cannot easily move their businesses, they enjoy special protection under the law. Farmers renting agricultural land under a ground lease used to be subject to the terms of the Agricultural Tenancies Act (Pachtwet). These days, however, ground leases are covered by a special section in the Dutch Civil Code. 


Tenant farmers are protected by law. The main provisions relate to the duration of the lease (i.e. between six and twelve years), the amount of rent paid, restrictions on the termination of the lease, and the transfer of the lease in the event of the sale of an agricultural business. 

Agricultural Tenancies Authority (Pachtkamer or Grondkamer)

The Agricultural Tenancies Authority ensures that land-owners observe the terms of the Agricultural Tenancies Act and also resolve any disputes. 

What can we do for you?

The law on ground leases is complex. Landlords are sometimes given dispensation to disregard the protective measures afforded to tenants under the law. Similarly, where the lease involves a small plot of land, the tenant may not be entitled to the same far-reaching form of protection that is generally provided by the law. In most cases, large sums of money are involved and a rapid response is called for. The act imposes certain time limits: for instance, a tenant has six weeks in which to reply by registered letter to a notice of termination from a landlord. Our specialist lawyers can rapidly inform you about your rights and obligations and assist with legal proceedings on your behalf.

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