Share article:
Share article:

Brussels takes action against excessive rents

© Belga

The parties of the majority in the Brussels parliament are to set up a new committee to look at the question of excessively-high rents for accommodation in the capital.

The joint rent committee would be made up of representatives of landlords and tenants, and would be a first for Belgium.

The problem of the lack of affordable rented accommodation in Brussels is a problem that has long been recognised, and has led to an exodus of young families in particular, no longer able to afford a place to stay in the city, to the periphery, leading to an increase in rents there.

The committee would work on the basis of the establishment of what is a fair rent – a reference rent would be set for each commune or in some cases a part of a commune, and any rent that exceeded the reference by 20% would be considered excessive.

In addition, any property that showed a lack of sufficient quality to merit any excess over the reference rent – even if less than 20% – would be considered excessive.

The provisions in the law will be submitted to the Council of State to ensure the rights of all parties are being respected, in an attempt to forestall legal objections later.

The aim is to have a legal text ready for approval in the summer of 2021.

Rents in Brussels are known to be high in relation to most other parts of the country. But while that is more or less normal for a capital city with a large international community, the problem of excessive rents is most critical not in the leafy avenues of Tervuren or Sint-Genesius-Rode, but in the low-cost sectors of the rental market.

High rents in poor areas for sub-standard properties badly maintained are where the most problems arise, tenant advocates point out.

With the rent assessment committee, we are introducing a powerful tool to guarantee fair rents for both parties,” said Arnaud Verstraete (Groen), one of the promoters of the committee.

The fight against excessive rents is an old problem, according to Carla Dejonghe (Open VLD).

This proposal provides for mediation and a clear legal framework when mediation does not help,” she said. “It is an important element, in addition to investments in the market itself, to improve the quality and accessibility of the Brussels housing market.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Limiting private contacts ‘needed to fight autumn wave’, expert warns
The Consultative Committee announced it is introducing a handful of measures in public spaces to control the quickening spread of the coronavirus, ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
UN issues strong warning ahead of climate change summit in Glasgow
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...
Belgium’s decision on possible third shot postponed until Saturday
The decision on how Belgium will proceed with the roll-out of third shots of the coronavirus vaccine has been postponed until Saturday.  The news ...
Experts and politicians respond to new coronavirus measures
The handful of measures (re-)introduced by Belgium's Consultative Committee on Tuesday in response to the worsening coronavirus situation have had a ...
New fraudulent e-mails circulating in Belgium
A warning has been put out about new phishing e-mails that have been circulating since last Saturday and are sent from what could appear to be an ...