Judge: Protect franchisee against supermarket organization (Coop) as lessor

Does the franchisee need legal protection from supermarket franchisor Coop? The District Court of Rotterdam ruled on 9 February 2018, ECLI:NL:RBROT:2018:1151, that this is the case.

In the event of (premature) termination of the franchise agreement, the rental agreement does not also end automatically. Franchisors often stipulate in their contracts with the franchisee that the duration of the franchise agreement and the lease agreement run synchronously. That provision is in principle invalid. 

If a supermarket entrepreneur rents the business space from the franchisor, then the entrepreneur is very dependent on the franchisor. Fortunately, the law has rent protection rules. For example, if the franchise agreement ends, the rental agreement does not also end. 

Together with a franchisee, Coop had asked the court for permission to link the duration of the franchise agreement to the duration of the rental agreement. The court makes it clear that the franchisee does not have such a social position compared to Coop. The franchisee requires legal rent protection towards Coop. 

It is not the first time that if the franchise agreement ends, the supermarket entrepreneur can operate another formula, despite still renting from the old supermarket organization. 

mr. AW Dolphijn – franchise lawyer 

Ludwig & Van Dam Franchise attorneys, franchise legal advice. Do you want to respond? Go to dolphijn@ludwigvandam.nl .

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