WHAT TO DO WITH BELONGINGS EVICTED TENANT?

If the landlord has obtained an eviction judgment, the tenant will have to vacate the property. If he does not do so voluntarily, the bailiff will proceed with a forced eviction. What then happens to the tenant's contents and who is responsible for them?

So far, the law does not answer that question. The policy regarding evicted belongings varies from one municipality to another. The belongings are now often placed on the street by the bailiff, after which most municipalities ensure that the belongings are removed and stored and returned or destroyed after some time. 

However, many municipalities, pursuant to municipal ordinance, impose an order under penalty payments on the landlord (and sometimes even the bailiff) for placing things on the public road. The items must then be removed (destroyed/stored) within a certain period of time on pain of a penalty. This has been deemed undesirable by the legislature, because in that case the landlord does no more than enforce his right and the bailiff merely performs his legal duty. Moreover, this would have the effect of destroying the belongings earlier in order to avoid becoming liable for penalties. 

This changed as of April 1, 2021. From then on, a third paragraph will be added to article 556 paragraph 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Pursuant to that paragraph, the responsibility of the vacated household effects will lie with the Municipal Executive. The college must then take care of taking away and storing the household effects when a residence is vacated. This equalizes the differences at the local level and regulates the issue nationally.

Very favorable to the landlord, the new provision is not. In fact, the college takes care of the household effects at the landlord's expense. So it is still the landlord who pays for the costs of removing, storing and possibly destroying the belongings. The idea then is that the landlord in turn recovers the costs incurred from the tenant. These costs can be recovered from the tenant pursuant to the eviction judgment already rendered. However, experience shows that with most tenants there is nothing to recover and the landlord will be left empty-handed. 

In short, landlords will no longer face any penalties under the new law in connection with clearing/ storing an evicted household's contents, but they will still be responsible for the costs.

Source: housing lawyers Rotterdam

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