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The new draft Flemish Lease Decree: cohousing

The new Flemish Lease Decree shakes up the rules for tenants and landlords. The decree comes into effect from the spring of 2019. But what will soon change?

In our previous post, we touched on the issues around couples moving in together or separating after cohabiting. The new lease decree is designed to clarify this. We will now explore the subject of cohousing: a housing concept where a group of people move in together.


The new Flemish Lease Decree isn’t just good news for cohabiting couples, it also clarifies the growing concept of cohousing.

Some friends decide to rent a house together or a couple decides to cohabit on a de facto basis. Under the current legislation, cancellation takes place by all tenants jointly. Under the draft decree, the party moving out will shortly be able to cancel on their own...

In that case, the party moving out will only have to observe a notice period of three months. After the notice period, the remaining tenants will have to pay the full rent. The landlord may require the tenant moving out to pay the rent for a further period of up to six months if the remaining tenants fail to pay it properly.

The tenant moving out can avoid paying this six months’ rent if they propose a new co-tenant. The remaining tenants can also propose a candidate to the landlord. If the landlord and the remaining tenants don’t accept the candidate, the tenant moving out can take legal action to enforce this in court. They will reject the candidate if they are not sufficiently solvent, if the remaining tenants veto the new tenant or if more people would live in the property than permitted due to the extra tenant.

Remember, this is a draft decree. So, the government could still tweak it. The new rules are intended to apply to all tenancy agreements signed from spring 2019. They don’t cover agreements entered into before that date or renewals.

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