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Rent prices causing another argument

Should landlords be allowed to raise rent prices in times of crisis, and at a time when the government introduced a one-off skipping of the automatic wage indexation system?

The issue seems to cause a new row between the Christian democrats of CD&V and the other coalition partners in the federal government, the Flemish and Francophone liberals and the Flemish nationalists of N-VA.

Trades unions and the CD&V are against the idea. If the working class has to tighten the belt – as wages are not being adapted to the cost of life – house owners renting out a (second) property should also make an effort, they argue.

Rent prices should not be allowed to rise when the index jump takes place, they demand.

The Flemish Housing Minister Liesbeth Homans (N-VA) announced today that she is not inclined to impose restrictions in that sense to landlords. “The index jump involves a number of special measures to protect the most vulnerable in society”, she argues.

The minister also thinks rent prices can hardly go up anyway, considering the low or even negative inflation rates Belgium saw last year. It still remains to be seen when an index jump will actually take place.

Someone paying EUR 800 per month, would have to pay 8 eurocents more, some say. So this in fact a non-debate, they add.

However, inflation will go up sooner or later, and the announced index jump will arrive one day.

The matter also has a major symbolic value for the CD&V and for trades unions though. It can be heard that the issue is a “very sensitive one”. It may even be a reason for trades unions to initiate new strike action.


Flandersnews.be / Expatica