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By: Ynze Kliphuis, Esq.
Russell Advocaten B.V.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

When investing in real estate in the Netherlands there are a few typical legal rules one should be aware of, such as the separate delivery of real estate by a deed of transfer and a transfer tax.

Delivery of real estate

Handing over the keys is not sufficient for delivery of real estate in the Dutch legal system. After parties have agreed to the terms of the transaction they also have to agree on a deed of transfer to be drafted by a notary public. Only after the deed of transfer is signed and the notary public has entered this deed in the land registry, the transfer of the property is a legal fact.

Transfer tax

The buyer of (shares in) real estate has to pay a transfer tax. This tax is 2% of the value for housing accommodation and 6% for other types of real estate, such as business accommodation. If a commercial buyer buys real estate from a commercial seller, they can opt for a transaction of real estate that is taxed with VAT. In that case, the transaction may be exempt from transfer tax.


The Dutch market for real estate seems to have passed the bottom and shows early signs of recovery. This may be the right moment for foreign companies and persons to invest in this market. Since Dutch law on real estate is quite typical, we advise you to consult a local legal advisor. Russell Advocaten are legal experts who are well aware of the peculiarities of Dutch real estate law.

For more information about Russell Advocaten B.V., please visit the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.