Real Estate

Real Estate in Belgium

Rental category

The rental contract covers buildings or parts of buildings. The law distinguishes the common law lease, that is to say the lease which, because of the use reserved for the building or the part of the rented building, is not covered by any specific laws. client. housing rent, commercial lease or land lease.

The common law real estate lease

More precisely, it is governed by articles 1714 to 1762 bis of the Civil Code. These provisions are generally complementary. The lease can cover all types of buildings, including buildings, land, facades, roofs, garages, for various purposes, such as offices, industries, residences, provided that it is not the main residence of the tenant. for example: second home, student accommodation, seasonal rental.

Written rental agreement:

In principle, the parties are free to determine the duration of the lease in writing or orally. It has no minimum term and cannot be concluded for more than 99 years. Since the entry into force of the law of February 20, 1991, all leases have a fixed term, either expressly agreed between the contracting parties and termination is neither required nor implied by law. Article 1736 of the Civil Code. declares that the common law lease, the duration of which is not foreseen by the parties, “is supposed to be within one month”. It can be canceled unilaterally by the lessor or by the tenant “with one month’s leave”.

Oral rental contract

In the absence of a time limit agreed between the parties or if the proof cannot be provided in accordance with the rules of common law, the verbal lease is deemed to be concluded within one month and can only be terminated with a leave of one month, on the basis of Article 1736 of the Dutch Civil Code and if the rental lease contract relates to a furnished apartment, Article 1758 of the Dutch Civil Code applies.

Renewal and tacit renewal

The parties could agree that at the end of a fixed-term written lease, where applicable without notice within the time limit they will have set, the lease will be “renewed” under the conditions they will have set. The parties therefore decide to keep the original lease and to extend the expiration date. The tacit renewal of a lease requires three conditions: a written lease for a fixed term with the tacit consent of the parties and the capacity of the parties.
For a tacit renewal, the tenant must actually be in possession of the leased property for a specified period after the end of the lease, and this detention must be unambiguous, known to the lessor and there has been no objection on his part. .

Causes of the end of the lease

Events which do not in themselves end the lease:

  • bankruptcy of the owner or tenant
  • death of the owner or tenant (art. 1742 C.C.): the heirs succeed. (exemption if character “intuitu personae” on the part of the tenant).
  • the owner’s desire to move into the property itself – the sale of the leased property (if the lease is enforceable)

Elements defined in the contract:

  • Duration of the contract: the rental contract ends at the duration agreed between the parties or provided for by law, without the need for leave. (art. 1737 before JC) The leave is not useless because it can prevent a possible tacit renewal. against

The rent of the main residence

It concerns the living space that the tenant assigns to his main residence. The lease is governed by the law of February 20, 1991, amended by the law of April 13, 1997. The customary law provisions relating to the rental of buildings apply when the legislation specific to this type of contract does not depart from it. not.

The commercial lease

It is that which designates the buildings or parts of buildings which are mainly influenced by the tenant or a sub-tenant, in the exercise of a retail trade or in the activity of a craftsman who is in direct contact. with the public. These leases are governed by the law of April 30, 1951, amended by the law of June 29, 1955. The provisions of common law for building leases apply when the legislation specific to this type of contract does not depart from them.

The farmer’s lease

It is the one that belongs to the real estate that is mainly assigned to the tenant’s farm.