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11.03.19 Flemish Lease decree simplifies the drafting of residential lease agreements
- In accordance with the sixth State Reform (2014), the Regions are now qualified to establish the regulations with regards to residential lease agreements. In Flanders, the Flemish Lease decree (Vlaams Woninghuurdecreet), replacing the federal lease law (Woninghuurwet), entered into force on 1 January 2019. The Flemish Lease decree is applicable to all residential lease agreements entered into starting on 1 January 2019 for real property situated in Flanders. For residential lease agreements entered into before 1 January 2019, the federal lease law remains applicable.
- The federal lease law, more specifically its article 11bis, required the addition of two descriptive appendices to each residential lease agreement. The first appendix contained the (i) standards regarding health, security and habitability applicable in the Region in which the real property is situated and (ii) the fundamental stipulations set out in the federal lease law, for instance the duration, revision, indexation, regulations regarding lease repairs, provisions for termination, etc. The second appendix contained the standards set out at (i) on the federal level;
- This obligation led to a lot of paperwork, while the parties involved hardly paid any attention to these appendices. Furthermore, non-compliance with these obligations was not penalized;
- The Flemish Lease decree thus abolishes the mandatory attachment of these appendices, meaning that as of 1 January 2019, a mere reference to the descriptive clarification in the lease agreement suffices.
- The descriptive clarification contains information about the standards involving health, security and habitability, as well as important aspects of the residential lease law, for instance the regulations regarding the inventory of fixtures, the rent and the charges, the guarantee, the indexation, etc.
- It suffices to add the following reference to the lease agreement: “The Brochure “The Flemish lease decree for residential lease agreements” (Het Vlaams Woninghuurdecreet voor woninghuurovereenkomsten) can be consulted at www.woninghuur.vlaanderen." The descriptive clarification has been made available by means of this brochure. The brochure itself can be consulted by clicking on the following link