The common law principle of huur gaat voor koop
I frequently receive queries with regard to a tenant’s position where the leased premises is sold, mostly from tenants indicating that they were simply told to vacate before transfer.
A tenant is protected by the common law ‘huur gaat voor koop’ rule. This means that the lease agreement will survive the sale, the new owner will become the landlord and the terms of the existing lease will stay in force until the lease terminates. The new owner will also be responsible to refund the deposit less any claim for damages. A lease agreement may have a specific provision to the contrary and if you anticipate that you may sell property that you are putting up for rental, consider making provision for this.
Beware as the consequances of non compliance could be severe.
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The legal action "Mandament van Spolie"
Most property practitioners know the legal maxim that one may not take the law into one’s own hands. But how does this work practically? If a tenant breaches the provisions of the lease and a subsequent acknowledgment of debt, can the landlord lock the gate giving access to the premises as the tenant’s occupation was illegal? The judgment explains how the mandament van spolie, the action supporting the maxim, works in such a scenario.