The public side of property law was the central theme in a seminar that was organized by the real estate team of VANEPS on 5 November 2015. Among the participants were developers, architects, real estate agents and representatives from the construction, energy sector and healthcare sectors. During the seminar, the speakers discussed existing and new rules regarding spatial planning, the environment, nature, water, and construction, and their application in practice.

Particularly the BES Act VROM (Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment) was discussed extensively. Many questions were asked about the application hereof in Bonaire. For instance, one of the participants noted that further extending the decision time limits for permit applications will paralyze the real estate market, and that the new rules show little understanding for every day practice, in which Bonaire residents often complete their houses step by step. VANEPS associate and speaker Thies Leijsen emphasized that it is therefore important to remain cautious when applying for a building permit, because time limits can expire unnoticed. Thies provided the participants with tangible pointers on how to handle this in the best possible way and what to pay attention to when applying for a permit. Subsequently, junior associate Lotte Dunnink further discussed the consistent practice of qualitative obligations and membership of management associations, and she pointed out the differences between an owners’ association in case of apartments and the ‘voluntary’ associations at resorts and construction projects.

Tom Peeters (chairman of the day, specialist real estate lawyer and manager of the Bonaire office of VANEPS): “We organize meetings like these regularly to keep our clients up to date of developments in (property) law. We notice that we provide for an important need and are happy to see that these meetings are so well-attended.”

The participants received a booklet specifically compiled for the seminar, containing all relevant regulations.