Rent control in Europe: Belgium

Population: 11,250,585 GDP: $473,524,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €522.75 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €3,023.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €970.62

In our ongoing examination of tenancy laws and rent control practices in the European Union now looks at Belgian rentals. In 1991, an uncharacteristic rise in rents, particularly in Brussels and the surrounding area, prompted a statute devoted to private tenancy to be introduced into the Civil Code.

This statute, which was reformed in 1997, aims to increase the equitable relationship between landlords and tenants, and ensure protection of tenants and their family housing. Additionally, the Belgian Parliament inserted into their Constitution, in 1993, the right to enjoy suitable housing as a fundamental right and freedom of Belgian citizens.

Belgian tenancy law is subdivided into two parts: federal law and regional restrictions. At the federal level, it is stipulated that tenancy contracts do not impart any real property rights to tenants, with little to no ambiguity, and there is little in the way of consumer protection legislation, other than prohibitions and provisions for recovery …

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Rent control in Europe: Sweden

Population: 9,884,285 GDP: $570,591,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €842.29 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €687.51 Avg. Monthly Rent: €1,252.83

To begin our series profiling the rent control situation in EU countries, we will take a look at the impact of rent control on the private rental market of Sweden, with a focus on the capital city of Stockholm where the city limits are home to 900,000 of Sweden’s 9.9 million citizens. The rental market there is a relevant reflection of the country’s conditions as a whole given the importance of the city to the economy in general.

Sweden has perhaps the most pro-tenant laws in the world, and has been held up as an example for other EU nations investigating rent control legislation. The reasons for the attractiveness of the example are largely because people look at the terms tenants in an existing tenancy face. The issue that arises, however, is that in creating such a tenant-friendly environment, the Swedes have subsequently alienated landlords and generated a dramatic shortage of rental properties, that aspect of their market is rarely raised …

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Thankfully there isn’t any Tsunami when you consider hard facts

There has been an ongoing commentary about ‘Tsunami’s’ of repossessions that are occurring right now or just about to and we have been part of what we feel is a more realistic interpretation of the facts.

Yes, people have lost their homes and more will, that is always part of the outcome after a massive financial crisis, one of the largest ever, and in a nation that set records for the size and scope of their financial problems.

To think it could be any other way is the same as expecting a health system where nobody ever dies irrespective of the problems they may have. That kind of belief is not rooted in reality.

We think that the correct response is rapid and fair intervention where warranted, and zero protections where properties are abandoned and no payments are being made.

Within this vista there are those who would have you believe the world is being torn asunder and nobody is doing anything about it.

Here are some of the statistics from the courts covering the first quarter of 2016.

New …

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The Last Word on Today FM talk to Irish Mortgage Brokers

The Last Word hosted by Matt Cooper featured Irish Mortgage Brokers and the Independent’s Paul Melia to discuss issues around social housing and indebtedness.

Paul Melia had researched the outcome of 1,700 social houses that were promised last year and found that none of them had been commenced, this is in our opinion the kind of high quality journalism that leads to greater public accountability.

The radio clip beings with a conversation between Matt and Paul where the issues for non-delivery are covered.

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Opportunists preying on fear are the real vultures

This was a joint opinion piece by Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers and Ross Maguire of New Beginning. Ross is a Senior Counsel and a highly skilled professional in the area of property rights. The point being raised was that property rights and contractual obligations are very well set out in Irish law.

There are those that would have you believe that a person or company can buy your loan and suddenly turf you out, that simply isn’t the case and is factually incorrect. We refer to people sending out that kind of nonsense as being mandarins in the ‘Ministry of Fear’ and make the point that the facts matter.

The full article can be read here.

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Time to stop third party meddlers from progress prevention

A common theme in the frustrations of life generally is where you have a third party who can disrupt the intentions of another and in turn remain fairly unaffected themselves. This article appeared in the Sunday Business Post on the 29th of May and was on that topic.

(original below)

A system which allows unfair delays to those trying to deliver housing must be scrapped.

Best known for penning The Prince, a Renaissance-era handbook for unscrupulous politicians, Florentine historian Niccolo Machiavelli advised: “Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”

To that end, if there’s one way to annoy a third-party meddler it’s to identify them. It gets their back up.

The ‘deception’ in this respect is the common acceptance of third-party rights. Unconnected third parties should not (and don’t) have the right to intrude on your private life or private moveable property as long as you aren’t breaking the law. But when it comes to immovable or fixed property, we don’t act the same way. We allow anyone to voice their dissent and disrupt a …

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Claire Byrne show, 23rd May 2016

This clip is a good insight into the many facets of the housing debate when looking at the ‘crisis’ end of the spectrum. It raised some interesting issues and commentary. One thing we want to state is that there was an implication that if a fund bought your mortgage that you might be able to get thrown out rapidly, we should state clearly that this simply isn’t the case and is likely a misinterpretation of fact than a stance which is there to deliberately mislead.

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Irish Times article by John McCartney, Lorcan Sirr & Karl Deeter

The Irish Times carried an article by John McCartney (Savills), Lorcan Sirr (DIT Bolton St) and Karl Deeter (Irish Mortgage Brokers) about the issues surrounding a shift away from a home ownership model.

Our point isn’t that there is a definitive ‘right or wrong’ way to provide housing, obviously our market has massive issues at present, but the larger question is the long run effects and how a lack of household savings can turn a property crisis into a pension crisis of sorts.

That is why we need to find new solutions for more than just housing.

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