After termination of the lease by the landlord, the tenant of business premises sometimes enjoys eviction protection. However, this legal eviction protection is limited. What does this eviction protection entail?
Rental law recognises two types of business premises. On the one hand, there is the retail space or 290 business premises. These are not only retail spaces but all spaces accessible to the public where products or services are delivered. Then there is a residual category called the 230a business space or other business space. This includes, for example, office space or storage space.
For both types of business premises, different legal rules apply. In case of rent of so-called 'other business space', the only protection the tenant has after a legally valid termination of the lease, is the eviction protection.
Eviction protection means that the tenant does not yet have to vacate (and deliver) the business premises on the day the lease ends. The obligation to vacate the leased space is suspended by operation of law for a period of two months. Therefore, even after the rental agreement has been officially terminated, the tenant may still remain in the rented property for two months with all his belongings.
The legal term of eviction protection of two months starts from the moment the eviction has been announced. It is therefore important that the landlord does not forget to give this notice, otherwise the two-month term will not run. As a landlord, it is therefore wise to state, together with the notice of termination of the rental agreement, that the premises must be vacated on the same date. The eviction cannot be announced before the time at which the lease ends.
Within the two-month period, the tenant has the possibility to apply to the court for an extension of the period within which he has to vacate the leased property. This way, he can ensure that he can stay in the rented property for more than two months. If the tenant fails to do so, he must actually vacate the premises after two months.
If the tenant files a petition with the court, the eviction protection will continue until the court has ruled. In order to be able to make maximum use of the eviction protection, a tenant will often wait to submit the request until the end of the statutory eviction protection of two months.
Whether the court will grant an extension request depends on the circumstances of the case. The court will only grant a request for extension if the interests of the tenant are more seriously damaged by the eviction than those of the landlord in the event of the tenant continuing to use the property. The court will reject a request for extension if the landlord makes it plausible that the tenant is using the rented object improperly, is causing serious nuisance or is in such default of payment that the landlord cannot be required to allow the tenant to continue using the rented object.
The court can initially extend the term within which the eviction must take place to a maximum of one year after the termination of the rental agreement. Subsequently, the term may be extended twice by one year. If the request is rejected, the court will set a date on which the tenant must vacate the property.
During the period of eviction protection, the tenant must pay a user fee to the landlord. If the tenant and the landlord do not agree on the amount of this fee, the court can set the amount. Often, the compensation is set at an amount equal to the amount of the last rent paid, including any indexation of the rent. It may be that, if the local price level is much higher than the then current rent, the user fee will be set at a higher level than the then current rent.
Finally, it is important that a tenant cannot invoke eviction protection if he himself has given notice of termination of the lease, has expressly agreed to termination of the lease or has been ordered to vacate because he has failed to comply with his obligations as a tenant. A landlord is therefore well advised to try to get the tenant to agree to the termination of the lease in writing.
If you have any questions or need help with the termination of a lease, please feel free to contact one of our lawyers. We will be happy to assist you.