The new property law. Beyond the discussion around the ball at the neighbours

Ann Westen   |  

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Ann Westen

Ann is part of the Tax & Legal team and specializes in, among other things, succession.

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The new property law has come under the spotlight in the media with the question of whether or not it is allowed to go get a ball at the neighbours when they are not home. But the new property law, effective as of 1 September 2021, goes way beyond that. It also brings a lot of novelty for rights in rem. Therefore, we would like to explain some of the changes.

Usufruct right

  • The maximum duration of a usufruct right granted to a legal person is now 99 years. This used to be 30 years.
  • Structural repair works must be borne by the bare owner and the usufruct holder together. This is the cooperation obligation.
  • If a usufruct right is held on behalf of several natural persons, the usufruct will wash over to the other persons upon the death of one of them. The usufruct right will no longer extinguish.
  • A possible extension of the usufruct right is now also foreseen by law.
  • The usufruct holder is now obliged to insure the property in full ownership.
  • When the usufruct right ends due to death, the right of use can be extended for a maximum of 3 years. (attention on rental agreements)
  • Right of use is abolished and right of occupancy has become a specific form of usufruct, and not a separate type of right in rem.
  • The obligation to provide a guarantee has been abolished.

Building right

  • The maximum duration of a building right is increased from 50 to 99 years.

Long-term lease

  • Minimum 15 years (used to be 27 years) and maximum 99 years.
  • The compensation ‘canon’, which used to be freely agreed by both parties and was an obligation for the leasehold, is abolished in the new property law.

All rights in rem now have a unified compensation mechanism at the end of the right in rem, with a fundamental compensation obligation. This used to be provided by law only for building rights. The possibility of early transfer of rights in rem is now also provided by law. It should be noted that this new legislation only applies to contracts concluded after 1 September 2021.

Discuss your situation with our experts

Do you have any specific questions about this new property law? Do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts will be happy to help you.

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