Property rights will soon be reviewed. The new law on private property comes into force next Wednesday. It will have a concrete impact on relations between neighbors. Example: your neighbor will have to return your children’s balloon if it falls in his garden or allows you to go get it. Another change, you will have the right to access the neighbor’s property to do work on your home.
The reform of “property law”, approved by the Chamber in February 2020, will come into force on September 1. Concretely, this new book (book III) is included in the new civil code and notably provides a new legal framework for disputes between neighbors. It also deals with issues such as usufruct, emphyteusis, building rights or even the right of the “honest finder”. The stated objective is to reduce the number of disputes to be dealt with by the justices of the peace.
For example, the citizen hampered by branches protruding from his neighbor’s garden will now be able to prune them himself. He must first make the request to his neighbor. If the latter refuses to take action within 60 days, then he can do it himself.
If an object or animal has inadvertently landed on a neighboring property, the owner must return it or allow the owner of that object or animal to remove it.
Finally, a walker will be authorized to circulate on private property if the prohibition to be there is not clearly displayed. The new Property Code also defines more clearly the concept of property (objects, buildings and furniture, etc.). It also considers animals as beings and no longer objects.
“They are gifted with sensitivity and have biological needs”, specifies the new code, which also reforms property rights. It also establishes a right of the “honest finder”. “Imagine finding an abandoned bicycle. Does it belong to you ? So far, the answer to this question depends on where you find it: on a private or public domain. The new property law has developed only one regulation because it is irrelevant to consider where you find the bike “, had detailed the former Minister of Justice Koen Geens.