Two catering establishments in The Hague only have to pay half of their rent during the lockdown, the court in the same city has determined this week.
Because it is the first comprehensive judgment in a case about rent reduction, the judgment could have major consequences for other catering businesses.
Het Financieele Dagblad
on the basis of the ruling.
According to experts who spoke to the newspaper, other restaurateurs, bar owners and shopkeepers can more easily enforce rent discounts themselves thanks to this ruling.
The case was brought by a private investor who rents out two properties in The Hague to café owners.
The investor went to court because the bar owners were rent arrears and demanded that they be evicted from their premises.
The tenants, in turn, said they could no longer pay the rent due to the loss of turnover due to the corona crisis.
But according to the judge, neither the investor nor the bar owners could foresee the lockdowns when they closed their lease.
Therefore, they have to share the pain fairly.
During the lockdowns, they therefore only have to pay half of their rent, and for the period that the cafes had to close their doors earlier in the evening, they receive a rental discount of 25 percent.
"It is a very important signal from the judges", Dirk Beljaarts, general manager of Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN), told the FD.
But he does not advise other catering entrepreneurs to pay only part of their rent en masse.
That only creates conflicts, he says.