The Supreme Court recently clarified the issue of return by the lessee of leased item. The Court took the view that the lessee fulfilled its obligation to return the item upon actual handing over of the item regardless of signing a delivery-acceptance statement between the parties. If a lessee does not return an item after termination of the contract, the lessor may demand as compensation the rent agreed in the lease agreement.

The Court clarified that a lessor who maintains that the lessee has damaged a leased item beyond damage resulting from proper use and natural wear must present sufficient evidence. By law, upon return of a leased item, the lessor must inspect the condition of the item and promptly notify the lessee of any defects for which the lessee is responsible. A lessor who fails to do this loses the rights attached thereto based on defects in the item unless these are defects which cannot be identified by ordinary inspection.

The judgment clarifies that upon return of a leased item, the lessor shall inspect the condition of the item and promptly notify the lessee of any defects for which the lessee is responsible because defects identified at a later stage will not accepted as a basis for claims.