Different rental agreements

Last modified:

Wednesday 15 September 2021


It is important to be aware that this should be referred to as a lease under general law (an ‘office lease agreement’ is not a legally recognised concept). When a building is designated as an office, the owner and tenant can agree a lease under general law. This type of lease is suitable for non-commercial businesses (self-employed professionals, knowledge workers, medical, legal, insurance, accounting professionals, etc.) or commercial businesses which are not accessible to the general public without an appointment
A lease is agreed for a duration of three years. There is greater contractual flexibility than in commercial lease agreements. This can helpful for establishing flexible termination conditions, for instance, providing both parties agree. 


A provision of services contract is relatively flexible and more suitable for office sharing agreements, allowing you to leave without giving too much notice or easily extend the duration. This is particularly useful if you are not sure whether the membership option or location suits you or if your project moves in a direction you hadn’t expected. When you set up a business, it is often hard to have a medium or long-term perspective. Renting office space commits you for a number of years, which can be an obstacle. With co-working, the contract you sign will always include a minimum duration (which may only be a few months) and a short notice period that you will need to comply with.


Subletting allows a tenant to lease part of their premises while they are away on holiday, during certain time slots, while they are temporarily on leave, or so on. In general, this is only possible if the conditions of the lease agreement or the rules governing the rental permit subletting.


This type of lease is used for a building or part of a building for “retail or craft businesses in direct contact with the general public” (hospitality, grocery, stationery, etc.). In principle, it therefore applies to stores rather than offices. 

This type of lease offers the tenant a large degree of protection thanks to the minimum agreement duration of nine years and the strict termination conditions. It can be terminated by the tenant every three years subject to a six-month notice period. However, if the owner wants to remove the tenant from the property, they either need to pay them a large compensation payment, or comply with one of the specific scenarios which involve a long notice period and sometimes a compensation payment on top (e.g. if the business being carried out is similar). This gives the tenant long-term stability and peace-of-mind. See here for more information.

Helpful information on the matter is available on the following websites:


Since 2019, it has been possible to conclude a commercial lease agreement for a duration of one year or less. This is perfect for pop-ups and temporary stores. Details about this type of lease.


Short-term occupancy agreements are not really lease agreements and do not offer the parties much protection, but they still exist and are used for very short durations and in exceptional circumstances. It is advisable to conclude such an agreement in writing and provide a clear justification for it. It can be redesignated as a lease agreement by a judge if evidence shows that a lease agreement should have been concluded.
A helpful website on the matter (FR)


In this situation, retail traders share a commercial space and divide the rent payments between them. It is important to be aware that this is not a legally defined concept and the parties involved need to agree on a number of different points. Joint commercial tenancy is more common in cases of temporary occupancy. In this case, it is important to draw up a short-term lease agreement or a short-term occupancy agreement, as well as a set of internal regulations. Click here for more information.

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