Netherlands: Let op bij een erfdienstbaarheid met een zelfstandige actieve verplichting

Last Updated: 26 June 2017
Article by Bas Bruynsteen

Onlangs heeft het Hof Den Bosch arrest gewezen omtrent een erfdienstbaarheid met een actieve verplichting.

In het onderhavige geval was X eigenaar van een bedrijfscomplex, bestaande uit meerdere bedrijfspanden (de panden 1, 2 en 3) met bijbehorende terreinen bestemd voor verhuur. X verkoopt en levert aan Y pand 3 in september 2002. Uit de akte van levering blijkt dat – over en weer – een erfdienstbaarheid rust op de panden 1 en 2 enerzijds en pand 3 anderzijds, op grond waarvan:

'de toestand waarin de registergoederen zich ten opzichte van elkander bevinden blijft gehandhaafd, speciaal wat betreft (...) de aanwezigheid van ondergrondse en bovengrondse kabels en leidingen, met name met betrekking tot de stadsverwarming, elektriciteitsvoorziening en watervoorziening (...)'.

Ter zake van stadsverwarming, elektriciteit en water sluit Y contracten met de desbetreffende nutsbedrijven. Vervolgens wordt vanuit pand 3 stadsverwarming, elektriciteit en water doorgeleverd naar de panden 1 en 2. Door middel van tussenmeters kunnen de verschuldigde bedragen door Y aan X in rekening worden gebracht.

Op een gegeven moment laat de huurder van pand 2 een eigen elektriciteitsaansluiting aanleggen, waarna de levering van elektriciteit aan pand 2 door Y is gestaakt.

Vanaf november 2013 is Z de nieuwe eigenaar van pand 3. Omdat Z de doorlevering niet wil voortzetten, sluit hij de hoofdkraan van de stadsverwarming af, waardoor geen van de panden nog stadsverwarming geleverd krijgt. Na realisatie van zelfstandige aansluitingen voor water en elektriciteit in de panden 1 en 2 in het voorjaar 2014, worden ook de overige nutsvoorzieningen afgesloten door Z. Daarna wordt de leiding van de stadsverwarming afgedopt, waardoor levering van stadsverwarming niet meer mogelijk is.

X levert pand 1 aan A in juli/augustus 2014. Omdat de gemeente zich op het standpunt stelt dat pand 1 aangesloten moet worden op de stadsverwarming, laat X in najaar 2014 afzonderlijke aansluitingen op de stadsverwarming voor de panden 1 en 2 realiseren.

De totale realisatiekosten van de afzonderlijke aansluitingen voor de verschillende nutsvoorzieningen aan panden 1 en 2 belopen tientallen duizenden euro's. Naar aanleiding hiervan vordert X schadevergoeding van Z (eigenaar van pand 3, die alle nutsvoorzieningen heeft afgesloten). X onderbouwt haar vordering met de stelling dat Z in strijd met voormelde erfdienstbaarheid heeft gehandeld door de levering van de nutsvoorzieningen stop te zetten.

Evenals de kantonrechter wijst het Hof de vordering van X af. Naar de letter van de wet is een erfdienstbaarheid een last waarmee het dienende erf ten behoeve van het heersende erf is bezwaard. Een erfdienstbaarheid strekt in beginsel slechts tot een dulden of een niet doen. Slechts nevenverplichtingen ter zake van de realisatie en/of onderhoud van gebouwen, werken of beplantingen op het dienende erf kunnen als actieve verplichtingen in de goederenrechtelijke vorm van een erfdienstbaarheid worden gegoten.

Het Hof oordeelt dat de onderhavige erfdienstbaarheid voorziet in de verplichting voor de eigenaar van pand 3 om: (i) de aanwezigheid van kabels en leidingen van en naar panden 1 en 2 te dulden, en (ii) om te dulden dat door deze kabels en leidingen water en elektriciteit naar de panden 1 en 2 gaan. Voor dit laatste moeten overeenkomsten worden gesloten met de desbetreffende nutsbedrijven. Het Hof deelt de opvatting van X dat Z op grond van de erfdienstbaarheid verplicht is om deze contracten te sluiten niet. Immers, in het onderhavige geval is het contracteren met nutsbedrijven een zelfstandige actieve verplichting om iets te doen; gelet op vorenstaande kan deze verplichting naar het oordeel van het Hof niet worden vormgegeven met een erfdienstbaarheid.

Verder overweegt het Hof dat het contracteren ook niet als een nevenverplichting tot onderhoud is aan te merken, omdat in het onderhavige geval geen sprake is van onderhoud. Gelet op het goederenrechtelijk karakter van een erfdienstbaarheid acht het Hof een ruimere uitleg niet op zijn plaats, zodat ook dit beroep van X niet slaagt.

Uit dit arrest blijkt maar weer dat een erfdienstbaarheid niet geschikt is voor het vastleggen van een zelfstandige actieve handeling. Wilt u toch actieve handelingen vastleggen ten behoeve of ten laste van rechtsopvolgers of eigenaars van naburige percelen, dan kan dat door middel van een kettingbeding, voorzien van boetebeding. Vraag uw notaris naar de mogelijkheden.

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