A commercial lease per the OHADA Law on Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups is applicable in towns and cities of more than Five Thousand Inhabitants to all lease concerning immovable property falling under the categories of;

  • Premises or buildings for commercial, industrial, handicraft or professional purposes,
  • Secondary premises adjoining premises or a building for commercial, industrial, handicraft or professional purposes, provided that where those secondary premises belong to different owners, the rental is intended for use jointly and that such use is made known to the lessor at the time of conclusion of the lease,
  • Non-built-on estate on which buildings for industrial, commercial, handicraft or profession purposes have been constructed, either before or after conclusion of the lease, where such buildings are built or used with the consent or knowledge of the owner.

The OHADA Law governing commercial leases is also applicable to industrial or commercial legal entities governed by public law and to public corporations whether they are lessors or lessees.

A commercial lease is any agreement even unwritten, between the owner of immovable property or part thereof by any natural person or corporate body allowing the later to carry on any commercial, industrial, handicraft or professional activity on the premises with the consent of the owner.

The parties are free to determine the duration of the lease. A commercial lease maybe concluded for a specified or unspecified duration.

Where the lease is unwritten or is of an unspecified duration, it shall be deemed to have been concluded for an unspecified duration.

However, in accordance with the OHADA Law, the lessor and the lessee shall have specific obligations during the pendency of the lease.

Any transfer of the lease shall be notified to the lessor by the prescribed act or by any other means in writing, which means must contain the mandatory information.

Failure to respect the modalities of notification, the transfer shall not be applicable to the lessor. The transfer shall be contested by the lessor within the prescribed period before the competent court.

The lessor who intends to pursue the action for termination of the lease on premises on which a business is operated shall notify his action to the registered creditors.

The judgment declaring the termination shall only be pronounced after a period of one month following notification of the action to the registered creditors.

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