Dutch term – Huur

Huur is a noun meaning rent. The verb huren means to rent, and verhuren means to let out (huren is from the viewpoint of the renter, verhuren from the viewpoint of the owner). Many people rented houses and/or land.

Historically, most people in the Netherlands were too poor to own their own houses, and rented them instead. The owners were often richer people in the town, noble families, churches, or (especially in earlier periods), monasteries and convents.

Some rental contracts were made before a court or notary, and can be found in those records. Other contracts were be made between the parties privately, with each keeping a copy. These can sometimes be found in personal or family archives, manorial archives, or in court records if there later was a dispute over the terms.

For an example, see two tenancy contracts from the 1700s found in the records of the owner of the farm.

Tenancy contract 1712

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Martin Vlietstra says

    English speakers should be aware that when properties are for sale in the Netherlands, the Dutch put up signs “te koop” (to buy) rather than “vir verkoop” (for sale) which is what one sees in the United Kingdom.

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