The Brussels regional government decided on Thursday to temporarily limit the indexation of commercial rents as part of support measures for companies affected by the energy crisis, the State Secretary for Economic Transition Barbara Trachte stated.
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, inflation and rent increases ran as high as 12.27% in October. Business owners – such as florists, butchers, jewellers, hospitality businesses and so on – are doubly affected by rising energy costs: first, through their energy bills and second, through the indexation of their rents.
Since the new EPB (Energy Performance and Indoor Climate) certificate does not yet apply to the commercial sector, the system of index limitation that was recently introduced for residential rents could not be implemented in this case.
Therefore, commercial rents are now subject to a mechanism that allows the indexation to be limited for one year.
The proposed index for calculating the portion of inflation, that occurs from June 2021 (the beginning of the rapid increase in energy prices), is the consumer price index excluding energy components (electricity, natural gas, butane, propane, liquid fuels, solid fuels and motor fuels).
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With the index having increased less rapidly than the health index, commercial rents have increased at a more reasonable level. Based on current data, that will result in indexation being reduced by about half.
To give an idea, if the mechanism had been in place as early as November, the indexation of commercial rents would be limited to about 5.5%.
The measure has been passed as a matter of urgency to help those in the sector.