Lessees of so-called ‘other business premises for the purpose of article 7:230a of the Civil Code of The Netherlands’, including office space, who are confronted with an eviction notice from the lessor, can request the court for protection against eviction. In extreme cases, the lessee can extend his occupancy by as much as three years. How does this work?
The Civil Code of The Netherlands includes an arrangement that the lessee of other business premises can, within two months after the date on which he has received an eviction notice, submit an application to the sub district section of the competent court. During this period, the lessee cannot be forced to vacate the business premises. It is therefore wise that a lessee submits his application for protection against eviction just before the end of this term, to profit most from the protection offered by law.
If the lessee has submitted the application in time, he does not have to vacate the business premises until the court has ruled. The proceedings first of all have to determine if this indeed concerns other business premises. Otherwise, there is no right to protection against eviction. The letter giving notice to terminate the lease and for the eviction is also assessed. Notice (termination) of a lease contract for business premises is different from a notice to evict the business premises. If a lessor gives notice to terminate the lease agreement, but fails to give notice for eviction, the aforementioned term of two months has not yet started and the lessee can therefore not be forced to vacate the business premises. The time of the eviction notice can be no earlier than the time of notice of termination of the lease.
The court can grant the application for no more than one year, but the application can be repeated twice. In the proceedings, the court shall weigh the interests of the lessor for eviction against the interests of the lessee to continue using the business premises. If the court finds that the lessee’s interests are damaged more severely by an eviction than the lessor’s interests in continued use of the business premises, the court shall extend the eviction term. In doing so, the court can assess all circumstances in the case. For example, it could be of interest how far in advance the lessor gave notice of eviction, if similar business premises are available for the lessee in the vicinity and what the lessor plans to do with the business premises concerned.
Not all lessees of other business premises are entitled to protection against eviction. In fact, not all lessees are entitled to protection against eviction. Lessees of other business premises who themselves gave notice to terminate the lease agreement, who have agreed to termination of the lease agreement or who have been convicted in court for failure to comply with their obligations, are not entitled to protection against eviction.
Because the lease agreement is terminated by notice, after termination the term ‘rent’ is no longer used, but rather ‘payment for use’. Although this is almost always equal to the last monthly rent, in the proceedings the tenancy lawyer can ask the court to increase or even decrease this payment.
It is important, both for the lessee and the lessor that the procedural requirements under the law are complied with in a timely and correct manner. A Dutch commercial tenancy lawyer can be a huge help in such cases. AMS lawyers assist both lessees and lessors. Contact our Dutch law firm for a free meeting without obligation.