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Real estate: What to do when the government tolerates infringement?

Publication date 2 May 2019

No appeal can be lodged against a decision based on tolerance. Interested parties can file an enforcement request or request a permit to enforce a decision that can be appealed.

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What does government tolerance mean?

Tolerance is the renunciation of enforcement against a violation. If a municipality detects an infringement, such as an extension where that is not allowed and that distorts the view from your hotel or restaurant, the municipality has to take action. The municipality can oblige the infringer to rectify the offence on pain of a penalty or can itself rectify the offence at the infringer’s expense. In addition, the municipality can impose a penalty.

Sometimes the municipality deems interests too important to proceed to enforcement. Think of a person who has bought a recreational home under the legitimate assumption that he is allowed to live there permanently. Or a resident of a houseboat that has been moored at a particular location since time immemorial who has never been granted a mooring permit.

Then, the municipality can make a temporary exemption based on tolerance. For instance, the municipality tolerates the situation until the resident passes away or moves. In this way, the municipality prevents legal successors from being granted the same rights.

What can you do against a temporary exemption based on tolerance?

You cannot submit an opinion or lodge an objection against a temporary exemption based on tolerance. But what can you do?

If you think that the municipality should take action against the permanent residence in a recreational home, you have to file an enforcement request. If this enforcement request is denied, you can submit an opinion, or lodge an objection or appeal against it.

The buyer of the houseboat that is moored at the tolerated place cannot do anything against the decision to tolerate the situation any longer. He will have to request a mooring permit. If the request is denied, he can submit an opinion or lodge an objection or appeal.

More information?

Do you have any questions regarding permits, enforcement or decisions based on tolerance? The specialists at Russell Advocaten will be happy to give you advice. Please contact us:

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