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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case BE-2020-17/1214 – measures in Belgium

Company loans given for rent support

Vlaanderen: Kwijtschelding van huurgelden

Country Belgium , applies regionally

    • – BE1 RÉGION DE BRUXELLES-CAPITALE/BRUSSELS HOOFDSTEDELIJK GEWEST
      – BE2 VLAAMS GEWEST
Time period Temporary, 24 April 2020 – 17 October 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Case created 02 October 2020 (updated 06 October 2020)

Background information

Tenants who have difficulty paying the commercial lease due to liquidity problems can apply for a commercial lease loan with the Flemish government, whereby the regional governments (Flanders and Brussels) advances a maximum of two months rent, on condition that the landlord waives one or two months rent. The measure has reduced financial pressure on businesses that are faced with reduced income because of the COVID -19 crisis but are still faced with significant fixed costs.

Content of measure

The Flemish government will advance a maximum of two rental periods, provided that the landlord waives one or two months' rent. This voluntary agreement with the landlord is an interesting option: if the landlord waives two months' rent, the landlord is guaranteed payment of the rent for the next two months.

Payment is made directly to the landlord, while the tenant takes out the loan. The maximum amount for the loan has been increased to € 35,000. The repayment of capital and interest only starts after six months and must be repaid 24 months after the loan has been granted. There is an interest rate of 2%.

The Brussels regional government has implemented a quasi identical measure as well. The tenant may request an advance finance payment from Brussels for the payment of a maximum of two months rent. Upon approval the Brussels regional government will pay the amount to the owner of the property. This advance is repayable (up to a maximum of €25,000) with an exemption from repayment during the first six months.

The measure has been extended to the events and entertainment sectors as well, as they are both sectors that have been struck very hard.

Use of measure

There is no data available yet on the uptake of the measure with business owners.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Local / regional government
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

The involvement of the social partners is unknown, as there is little to no public statement or report available from them on the measure specifically. Unizo (one of the main representative employers' associations) informs their members on their website and helps them with the application.

Views and reactions

The view of the social partners is unknown, as there are no public statements or reports available from them on the measure specifically.

Sources

  • 29 May 2020: Vlaio.be: Commercial lease up to €35,000 for business owners (www.vlaio.be)
  • 01 June 2020: Unizo: Flemish payment support system for commercial leases (www.unizo.be)
  • 01 July 2021: Unizo: Brussels support system for commercial leases (www.unizo.be)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Company loans given for rent support , case BE-2020-17/1214 (measures in Belgium), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.