Netherlands: De hoofdhuurovereenkomst eindigt. Wat zijn de gevolgen voor de onderhuurovereenkomst?

Last Updated: 23 March 2018
Article by Midas Lagerweij

Situatie: er bestaat met betrekking tot hetzelfde pand een hoofdhuurovereenkomst en een onderhuurovereenkomst. De hoofdhuurovereenkomst wordt opgezegd en eindigt, en de hoofdverhuurder eist het gehuurde op. Echter, de onderhuurder kan nog maanden na deze einddatum over het gehuurde beschikken. Wat zijn de gevolgen voor de onderhuurovereenkomst? Moet de onderhuurder over deze maanden gewoon huur betalen, ook al is de hoofdhuurovereenkomst geëindigd? Over deze vraag heeft de Hoge Raad zich op 23 februari 2018 uitgelaten (ECLI:NL:PHR:2017:1260).

Het eindigen van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst heeft onmiskenbaar gevolgen voor de onderhuurovereenkomst. Immers, als de hoofdhuurovereenkomst eindigt, impliceert dat dat de huurder niet zonder meer nog gebruik kan maken van het gehuurde. Dat betekent ook dat de huurder zijn de onderhuurder niet langer de beschikking kan geven over het gehuurde. Eindigt de onderhuurovereenkomst dan ook automatisch bij het eindigen van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst?

Het antwoord is - zoals zo vaak - : dat hangt ervan af. Beslissend is de vraag welk huurregime van toepassing is. Bij winkelruimte betekent - op voorwaarde dat deze beëindiging door de rechter is uitgesproken - het einde van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst automatisch het einde van de onderhuurovereenkomst. Bij woonruimte betekent het einde van de hoofdhuur (als het gaat om zelfstandige woonruimte) juist niet het einde van de onderhuurovereenkomst. Onafhankelijk van de vraag of de onderhuur was toegestaan of niet, neemt de onderhuurder na het eindigen van de hoofdhuur automatisch de positie in van de hoofdhuurder (waarbij de onderhuurovereenkomst in de plaats komt van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst). Bij overige bedrijfsruimte (bv. kantoorruimte) of roerende zaken die verhuurd worden, ontbreekt echter een dergelijke wettelijke regeling.

Over deze situatie en de gevolgen hiervan heeft de Hoge Raad zich uitgelaten. Kort gezegd, was het hof - met de onderhuurder - van oordeel dat met het eindigen van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst, de onderverhuurder niet langer het huurgenot kon bieden, en daarmee tekort schoot in de nakoming van de onderhuurovereenkomst. Dat de onderhuurder nog maandenlang gebruik kon maken van het gehuurde, deed daar volgens het hof niet aan af. Conclusie was dat de onderhuurder geen huur of gebruiksvergoeding over deze maanden behoefde te betalen.

De Hoge Raad dacht daar anders over: Hij stelde voorop dat met het eindigen van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst er niet automatisch een einde komt aan de onderhuurovereenkomst. Daarnaast werd geoordeeld dat voor het bestaan van een (onder)huurovereenkomst niet vereist is dat de (onder)verhuurder bevoegd is tot verhuur (zodat het enkele feit dat de onderverhuurder niet bevoegd is tot onderverhuur, op zichzelf niets betekent). Gevolg hiervan is dat zolang de onderhuurovereenkomst doorloopt, en de onderverhuurder zijn huurgenot krijgt (zoals het geval was), de onderhuurder onverminderd huur verschuldigd is. Dat neemt niet weg dat op het moment de onderhuurder gegronde reden heeft om te veronderstellen dat hij binnen afzienbare tijd wel eens gestoord kan worden in zijn huurgenot (waarvan in dit geval sprake was met het eindigen van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst, waarmee de onderhuurder zonder meer gedwongen kon worden tot ontruiming door de hoofdverhuurder) er grond kan zijn voor bv. opschorting van de huur.

Deze uitspraak onderstreept dan ook - los van evt. ontruimingsbeschermingsperikelen - het belang van de onderverhuurder van overige bedrijfsruimte om de termijn van de onderhuurovereenkomst in ieder geval niet langer te laten duren dan de termijn van de hoofdhuurovereenkomst.

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