Since 20 March 2023, new rules regarding information that may be requested from a prospective tenant apply.
As such, the list of this information has not changed, but more clarity has been given on the kind information that can be requested and at what point in time during the rental process.
What is new?
1. When can information be requested?
From now on the kind of information and the point in time such information can be requested from a prospective tenant is clear.
1° Prior to the visit:
a) the surname and first name of the prospective tenant(s);
b) a means of communication with the prospective tenant;
2° In support of the candidature of the prospective tenant:
a) the financial means available to the prospective tenant or an estimation, enabling the landlord to verify the ability of the prospective tenant to pay the rent;
b) the number of persons making up the "family" in order to verify the suitability of the rented property taking into account its surface area;
3° In view of drafting and concluding the rental agreement:
a) any document that makes it possible to establish the identity of the tenant and his ability to conclude the contract;
b) the civil status of the tenant, married or legally cohabiting if applicable, taking into account the protection of the family home as referred to in the Civil Code.
It is foreseen that the Brussels government can issue a form to be used by landlords to request information from the prospective tenant. Such form is not available yet.
Attention! The origin or nature of the financial means of the prospective tenant may not be a reason for the landlord to refuse to rent. For example, a prospective tenant who receives social allowances may not be refused for this reason. The prospective tenant must merely prove to have sufficient income, without any judgement regarding the origin of such income.
2. How long to store this information?
The law now stipulates that the personal data of the prospective tenants may only be kept for a maximum period of six months, which is necessary for processing the application.
If there is a dispute regarding possible discrimination, this period is extended to a maximum of 10 years.
Once a rental agreement is closed, the tenant's data may be kept for the entire duration of the rental agreement and up to five years thereafter. Again, in the event of a dispute about possible discrimination, this period is extended to a maximum of 10 years.
3. Prior visit to the premises
Pursuant to this law, the prospective tenant can also demand a visit to the premises before the closing the rental agreement. The contract must not have been concluded yet to request a visit.
The above rules apply not only to professionals but to everyone who rents property in the Brussels Capital Region. You are hereby warned!
Should you have any questions on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists at email@example.com or +32 (0)2 747 40 07.