Foreclosure rule changes will benefit private bidders

Private individuals may soon be able to make online bids for homes at foreclosure auctions, as laid out in a new bill submitted by the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten, summarised by

The bill aims to reduce the risk of foreclosed homes being sold at prices far below their market value, since this causes banks to suffer losses and leaves the former owners with a residual debt when the sale price doesn't fully pay off the mortgage.

It also aims to improve the position of private buyers, since the market is currently controlled mostly by dealers who keep prices low.

With this in mind, it will be made easier to view a home before auction so that buyers can determine the condition of the property before they purchase it. It will also be made more clear whether a property is currently occupied and after which period the tenants will have to vacate the property.

To make the above changes possible, the home owner or lessee will be made to permit viewings as soon as the bank decides it's going to foreclose. Further, tenants will now have a maximum of three months to vacate a property, instead of the current one year maximum.

Under the current rules, any damage to a property that occurs after the auction but before the registration with the land registry is the risk of the private buyer. Not surprisingly, few buyers are willing to take that risk, whereas property dealers are more inclined to do so since they can more easily offset a loss on a single purchase.

In the future, private buyers will be better protected, because they will not bear the risk of property damage until after the registration, assuming they can prove that damage occurred before then, for example with photographs taken during the viewing.

Carly Blair


Carly Blair



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