Shared accommodation represented 9% of total housing in Brussels in 2013, compared to only 5% in 2012, according to the latest figures from the Rental Observatory, announced by RBDH (Brussels Right to Housing Group). The group is calling for politicians to modify legislation to accommodate this ever more popular Brussels lifestyle. House-sharing concerns mostly young people with an average age under 30, adds the report by the Observatory. They are students (21%) but also a young working population who are earning regular income (66%). They pay 810 euros a month on average for a living space of 90m². “If they number 2 or possibly 3, each one pays between 270 and 405 euros per month, plus utilities, which is far less than the average price of a studio flat (531 euros) or a one-bedroom flat (595 euros) in Brussels. The financial benefit is obvious and it is the most frequent justification mentioned by flatmates,” highlights RBDH.
In view of this increasing trend in the capital, RBDH is asking the government to revise lease legislation by adding a special house-sharing section.
The main suggestion from RBDH is “to mandate a signed house-sharing pact which addresses the most frequent problems occurring between housemates (costs sharing, security deposits, rental damage, early departure of a housemate, etc.). It must also be remembered that it is more important than ever to keep rents stable in order to avoid a wildly inflationist trend.” At the same time, RBDH deplores that housemates are often treated as household members and not as individuals, depriving them of most of their potential replacement income.