With respect to a principal residence lease, what happens to the surety in the event that a short-term lease becomes a 9-year lease?
In a judgment of 16 September 2013, the Court of Cassation recalls that the law on leases of principal residence organizes a transformation of the short-term lease into a nine-year lease, or in the absence of a holiday notified in time or if the lessee continues to occupy the premises without opposition from the lessor. The lease is then “deemed to have been concluded for a period of nine years from the date on which the initial short lease came into force” (Article 3, §6, paragraph 5 of the Commercial Leases Act) .
Since this legal provision is imperative, we can ask the question of the fate of the surety who, although having given his express agreement to guarantee the obligations of the lease throughout its initial duration (maximum 3 years), does not mean not necessarily support the setbacks of the tenant bonded in case of extension of the lease.
The Court of Cassation considers on this point that ” except for the restriction of duration provided in the bond , the obligations of the surety cover the obligations of the lease of principal residence over all nine years of its duration” (underlined by us), without that this does not call into question the fact that “the obligations of the surety are thus limited to those resulting from the lease for which they were granted”, in accordance with Article 2015 of the Civil Code.
Taking over the motivation of the trial judge, the Court found that “the transformation of the three-year lease into a nine-year common law lease is a legal consequence, mandatory in the absence of valid, predictable leave and ‘otherwise common, if not certain, a principal residence lease’
In other words, the Court of Cassation thus defends the thesis according to which the short-term lease contains in seed its possible conversion to a nine-year lease and that, consequently, the surety who engages in a short lease duration must be maintained for the continuation of the contract when it exceeds the initial period.