Dutch Civil Code

Book 6 The law of obligations

Title 6.4 Obligations from another legal source than tort or agreement

Section 6.4.1 Benevolent intervention in another’s affairs

Article 6:198 Benevolent intervention
A benevolent intervention means that a person (‘intervener’) deliberately and on reasonable grounds has taken upon himself to look after someone else’s interests (‘affairs’ of the ‘interested party), without having the authority to do so, neither on the basis of a juridical act, nor on the basis of any other legal relationship acknowledged by law.

Article 6:199 Obligations of the intervener
- 1. During his benevolent intervention the intervener must act with prudent care and, as far as this reasonably can be expected of him, continue the intervention he has started.
- 2. As soon as this is reasonably possible, the intervener renders account of his actions to the interested party. If he has spent or received money on behalf of the interested party, then he must render account as well for these payments.

Article 6:200 Obligations of the interested party
- 1. As far as the interests of the interested party have been looked after properly, he must compensate the damage that the intervener has suffered as a result of his benevolent intervention.
- 2. Where the intervener has acted in the course of his professional practice or business, he is in addition, as far as this is reasonable, entitled to a compensation for his performances, with due observance of the prices that at the time of the intervention are normally charged for such performances.

Article 6:201 Authorisation to perform legal acts as representative of the interested party
The intervener is entitled to perform juridical acts in the name of the interested party as far as the interests of the interested party are looked after properly as a result thereof.

Article 6:202 Necessary approval of the interested party
Where a person, who has acted with the intention to look after someone else's interests, has done so without reasonable ground or has not properly looked after this other persons interests, then his other person may, by approving the performed acts (actions), waive his right to invoke this legal defect against the acting person. The acting person may set a reasonable period of time in which this other person must give his approval.

Section 6.4.2 Undue performance

Article 6:203 Obligation to repay or undo an undue performance
- 1. A person who, without any legal basis, has delivered an asset to another person, is entitled to claim it back from the recipient as an undue performance.
- 2. Where the undue performance relates to the payment of money, the debt-claim towards the recipient exists of the right to demand the refund of an equal sum of money.
- 3. A person who, without any legal basis, has carried out another performance than the delivery of an asset or the payment of money, is towards the recipient entitled to demand that this performance is made undone.

Article 6:204 Good faith of the recipient of an undue performance
- 1. If the recipient of an asset, during the period in which he reasonably should not have been aware of the existence of an obligation to return the received asset, has not taken care for that asset as a good debtor should, then this failure is not attributable to him.
- 2. A person who in the name of another person, yet unauthorized, has received a sum of money which was not indebted to this other person, is released from his obligation to refund the undue payment, as far as he has paid the received amount to this other person during a period in which he reasonably should not have been aware of the existence of an obligation to refund the received payment.

Article 6:205 Bad faith of the recipient of an undue performance
Where the recipient acted in bad fait when he received the undue performance, he will be in default [with the performance of the obligation to undo the undue performance] without further notification (without a letter of formal notice to perform).

Article 6:206 Fruits, costs and damage
What is specified in Articles 3:120, 3:121, 3:123 and 3:124 of the Civil Code with regard to the entitlement to fruits and with regard to a compensation for costs and damages applies accordingly to an undue performance for the time that it is under control of the recipient.

Article 6:207 Compensation for costs and expenditures
Unless the recipient has taken delivery of the performance in bad faith, he is in addition, within the limits of reason, entitled to a compensation for the costs of taking delivery and of returning the asset, as well as for expenditures made during the period referred to in Article 6:204, that would not have been made if he would not have received the asset.

Article 6:208 Waiver of the right to reclaim the undue performance and additional transfer of the undue performance to the recipient
The recipient loses his right to the compensations meant in the two previous Articles, if the opposite party, who had carried out the undue performance, waives his right to reclaim the asset and, to the extent necessary, transfers at his own expense the right of ownership of the undue performance to the recipient in order to get released from his obligations to pay compensations. The recipient must cooperate in such a transfer.

Article 6:209 Recipient without legal capacity
Where a person without legal capacity has received an undue performance, the provisions of this Section only apply as far as the performance has really been beneficial to the recipient or has come under control of his legal representative.

Article 6:210 The obligation to undo undue performances of another kind
- 1. Articles 6:204 up to and including 6:209 apply accordingly to the obligation of the recipient to undo an undue performance of another nature than the delivery of an asset.
- 2. When the nature of the undue performance makes it impossible to return it, then the recipient has the obligation to compensate the value of that performance, calculated at the moment on which the recipient received it, as far as this is reasonable, but only if the recipient has been enriched by it, if it is attributable to him that the undue performance was performed or if he agreed to perform a counter performance.

Article 6:211 The undoing of a performance under a null and void or nullified agreement
- 1. Where the nature of a performance, which has been carried out under a null and void or nullified agreement, makes it impossible to return it and it would neither be appropriate to estimate its value in court, then a right of action (legal claim) to return or to undo this performance or to compensate its value will be excluded, as far as such a right of action (legal claim) would come in conflict with the standards of reasonableness and fairness.
- 2. Where it is impossible to claim back the transferred performance as meant in the previous paragraph, the nullity of the agreement does not lead to the nullity of the transfer itself.


Section 6.4.3 Unjustified enrichment

Article 6:212 Requirements for an unjustified enrichment
- 1. A person who has been unjustifiably enriched at the expense of another person, has the obligation towards that other person to repair the damage up to the amount of his enrichment, as far as this is reasonable.
- 2. As far as the enrichment has been decreased as a result of an event which cannot be attributed to the enriched person, this decrease will not be taken into consideration in determining the size or amount of the enrichment that has to be repaired.
- 3. Where the enrichment has been decreased during a period in which the enriched person reasonably should not have been aware of the existence of an obligation to repair the damage, this decrease is not attributable to him. In determining this decrease the expenditures which the enriched person would not have made if there would not have been an enrichment, are taken into account as well.

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