Real estate: what’s new in 2019 ?

A new  year often brings with it new legislative provisions. Here is a summary of changes in real estate since 1 January 2019. 

1. The application of VAT authorised on professional tenancies

Under certain conditions, landlords will be able to apply VAT to premises leased for professional use: 

  • Subject to the agreement of both parties, landlord and tenant
  • Only for new or renovated buildings and existing warehouses and storage spaces.
  • The VAT will be applicable retroactively for work carried out after 1 October 2018.

2. Simplified cohabitation for apartment buildings

The entry into force on 1 January 2019 of the Joint Ownership Act enables, in particular: 

=> The relaxation of the requirements as regards the majorities needed when taking decisions at general meetings: 

  • To undertake work in the communal areas: 2/3 majority (instead of ¾)
  • For work required by law (lift compliance, fire safety, etc.): simple majority (instead of ¾) 
  • In the event of demolition or reconstruction:  4/5 majority (instead of an absolute majority)*

*Provided that these interventions are necessary or preferable to renovation. Owners who reject the plan will be able to surrender their plot in return for compensation, provided that the value of their property is lower than their share in the cost of the work.

=> The simplification of joint ownership management:

  • More changes relating to memoranda of association can now be included in the by-laws and will therefore no longer have to go through a notary.  
  • Establishment of a mandatory reserve fund for buildings that are five years old or more. Every owner will have to pay 5% of the standard communal charges of the previous year into this fund. This provision can, however, be set aside if 4/5 of the owners object. 

=> The possibility of creating partial owners associations:

Whether it concerns a wing of a block or a building that is part of a complex, the owners will be able to decide autonomously on all matters relating solely to their part. 

3. The grants system revised at last? 

The Walloon Government wishes to put in place, by the end of February, the new grants system that will combine the renovation grants and the energy grants. 


For more information, consult the article published on L’Echo website

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