E-note 5 – The attachement of immovable property

The regulation of attachment of immovable property can be found in Art. 502 et seq of the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure.

The course of events during the establishment of this attachment is as follows.

Attachment of immovable property is placed when the bailiff draws up an official report of attachment, which must include the indications mentioned in Art. 504 Civil Procedure, such as an indication of the order under which the attachment is placed and the nature of the seized property and their cadastral designation. The Dutch law does not require the bailiff to be present in or near the property when he draws up the official report. He draws up the official record in his office (so called “office attachment”). The blocking effect of the attachment can only be activated by registration of the official record in the appropriate public register. As with every execution, prior serving of the enforcement order must also take place (by Art. 430 paragraph 3 Civil Procedure).

Prior to the attachment, an order for payment shall also be done by writ (by Art. 502 paragraph 1 Civil Procedure), which order can optionally be combined into one writ with the service of the enforcement order (Art. 502 paragraph 3 Civil Procedure). Once two days after the order have expired (by Art. 502 paragraph 1 Civil Procedure), the attachment can be placed. Subsequently, the official record of attachment must be registered in the appropriate public register and must be served on the executed no later than three days after the registration (by Art. 505 paragraph 1 Civil Procedure). The law does not specify in what order the last two acts must be performed. The foreclosing seizor may therefore choose. Since the blocking effect of the attachment depends on the entry in the register, it is obvious that this should be done as quickly as possible.

Attachment of movable property that is not registered property

Ships and aircrafts are movable. Registered ships and aircrafts have in common with immovable property that it concerns registered property. Their execution is regulated separately in the fourth title of Book II of Civil Procedure.

The first section of this title (Art. 562 a et seq Civil Procedure) has the title ‘Executory attachment on and execution of ships’. This regulation applies to all ships, large and small. However, on some points the regulation distinguishes between registered and unregistered ships. In the said section, both the execution for claims on ships (executory attachment followed by public auction) and the execution for the issuance of a ship are regulated. The second section of this title (Art. 584a et seq Civil Procedure), with the title ‘Executory attachment on and execution of aircrafts’ regulates the execution for claims on aircrafts and the execution for the issuance of such means of transport.

With regard to this matter, several international treaties are of great importance.