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Rental law

The regulation of renting in Belgium consists of a general regime and three special regimes. 

General regime

The general regime applies to all leases not covered by the special regimes. This applies in particular to residential rental, commercial rental and tenancy. When the tenancy meets certain conditions, one falls under the scope of the Residential Tenancy Act, the Commercial Tenancy Act or the Tenancy Act. In that case, the parties cannot opt for another regime or include provisions in their agreement that deviate from the mandatory provisions of the Residential Tenancy Act, the Commercial Tenancy Act or the Tenancy Act.

Conversely, it is possible to state in an agreement that, for example, the Commercial Tenancy Act applies even though the tenancy itself does not fall under the Commercial Tenancy Act, but under common tenancy law. The rules of the common rental law are contained in articles 1708 to 1762a of the Civil Code and apply in the case of leasing of, for example, office spaces, practice rooms for the exercise of a liberal profession, holiday accommodation, student rooms, warehouses. In addition, these rules apply in a complementary manner in the case of residential leases, commercial leases and leases.

Commercial lease

When one wishes to enter into a commercial lease, the Commercial Lease Act applies. The commercial lease law, like the residential lease law, is of mandatory law. This means that parties may not deviate from it (unless the law allows them to do so). If all conditions are met to speak of commercial lease, then the application of the commercial lease law cannot be excluded. On the other hand, parties can apply the Commercial Lease Act to a lease that does not meet all the conditions.

Commercial lease conditions

To speak of trade rent, five conditions must be cumulatively met:
1. A lease must be concluded / a rent paid;
2. In respect of a property or part thereof;
3. Which is used for carrying on a retail trade or for the business of a craftsman in direct contact with the public;
4. The property must be principally intended for that purpose;
5. The destination was tacitly or expressly determined when the contract was concluded or expressly accepted in the course of the contract.

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