The doctrine regarding benefiting from a breach of contract seems to have adequately taken shape: benefiting from a breach of contract is not unlawful in itself. Such is only unlawful if the party held liable knows or should know at the time that the agreement is concluded that the other party is in breach of contract vis-à-vis a third party by concluding the agreement in question, and moreover in the case of additional circumstances.
This ruling (Court of Appeal of The Hague, 14 March 2017, ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2017:659) focused, among other things, on the question as to whether a successive lessor can be accused of a wrongful act because it allegedly benefited from a breach of contract of its predecessor/the original lessor. The (alleged) breach of contract that this successive lessor benefited from pertained to the right of first refusal that the lessee enjoyed under the lease, and that the original lessor (seller) did not respect. This ruling also dealt with the question as to whether the lessor’s notice of termination with a reliance on ‘urgently required for one’s own occupancy’ could stand up to scrutiny. Incidentally, this notice of termination was not upheld on appeal. The annotation only focuses on the subject matter of ‘benefiting from a breach of contract’.
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