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Belgium Real Estate Horizon: discover the legal developments that matter for the real estate sector

The Linklaters Real Estate team in Brussels is organised in a unique way, offering an integrated one-stop approach combining all areas of relevance for real estate transactions. Our team composed of 15 lawyers includes specialists in real estate M&A, real estate investment and development, real estate finance, tax and litigation, as well as construction, environment, planning/zoning and energy. This enables our real estate practice to perform market-leading international deals through the whole transactional process.

We help our clients to create value, share risk, enhance returns and mitigate tax costs using an ever-widening range of innovative and complex structures.

Long-standing clients of our firm include national and multinational real estate owners, users, developers, contractors and investors (including funds and regulated real estate companies) active in all sorts of markets and across all major asset classes, including office, logistics, retail, senior housing, data centres, hospitality, leisure and infrastructure projects.

Our clients entrust us with a broad range of advisory, litigation (including administrative litigation) and transactional work, ranging from the investment in, or sale of, real estate assets, the structuring of real estate projects and the listing of real estate companies, but also the day-to-day management of real estate. We have experience in all types of transactions, developments and redevelopments, including construction and infrastructure projects.

On this new webpage, our real estate team closely monitors new and upcoming legislation, court decisions and legal trends in the real estate sector to offer up-to-date and future oriented advice to our clients.  To name a few examples, temporary indexation freeze for commercial leases, indoor air quality improvement actions, the ratio of charging points in car parks and the installation of solar panels in a co-ownership are on our radar and should be on yours too!

Green clauses in leases: What, why, how? 

The integration of ESG concerns into real estate businesses has become increasingly important over the years. This concern was translated into legislation on various occasions: EPC, charging stations, renovation obligations… However, unlike its neighbouring countries, as of 2023, Belgium does not have any legislation defining or imposing green clauses in leases. The relevance of green clauses in leases can therefore only be understood, from a legal point of view, when considering the obligations stemming from the EU regulations, and, particularly, the EU Taxonomy Regulation. In this note, our experts provide a summary of the “need-to-know” of the EU Taxonomy applied to real estate and give a flavour of the various possibilities of green clauses.

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Insights series

Want to know how the topics of this series impact you? Click to read the publications below and contact us with any question you have.

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Brussels Goes Green (Part II) - Minimum EPB score and renovation obligations

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Reform amending the law of 11 February 2013 organising the profession of real estate agent

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Amendment of the Code of Territorial Development

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construction workers on construction site

The EU Commission demands a reform of the Belgian Breyne Act

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Landlord's EPB certificate obligation and nullity consequences

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Insights Series Archives

Brussels goes green – Overview of the new air, climate and energy policy for the upcoming decades

The Brussels government has introduced its Regional Air-Climate and Energy Plan, which contains a comprehensive roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change and promote renewable energy in the coming decades. Our Real Estate team has created a timeline of the (expected) upcoming legal obligations relevant to the real estate sector. 

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Forced co-ownership regime gets a sustainability-push

On September 25th, the Chamber of Representatives proposed a draft law that seeks to address the issue of sustainability in Belgium's building stock. This draft law imposes several new obligations on co-ownership associations and co-ownerships managers, such as drafting a multi-year maintenance plan and establishing new rules for reserve funds. 

Be sure to read our article for an initial overview of this potential future legislation!

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Pre-emption right for residential tenants in the Brussels Region

On 22 June 2023, the Brussels Government has adopted a draft ordinance amending the Brussels Housing Code  to introduce a pre-emption right for tenants whose main residence is offered for sale. If this Draft Ordinance gets approved, it will impose significant obligations on landlords who wish to sell their leased residential properties.

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Construction Law 2023: Chambers Global Practice Guide – Belgium

We are pleased to share with you our contribution to the Chambers Global Practice Guide: Construction Law 2023. Our expert team has authored the Belgian chapter, providing valuable insights into the construction sector. 

The guide gives a comprehensive overview of the legal issues and industry trends affecting employers, contractors, sub-contractors and financiers. It offers an overview of construction contract basics, ranging from elements affecting the price to exclusions of liabilities, from remedies in case of delay to retention rights and ESG in the construction sector.

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Upcoming reform of the environmental permit in the Walloon Region

The Walloon Government has proposed a legislative reform of the environmental permit aimed at strengthening the environmental protection and modernising the permit management. The main change concerns the unlimited duration of the environmental permit, as opposed to its current 20-year limit, combined with more flexible conditions and continued monitoring of business activities and potential environmental offences. The reform is not expected to enter into force before 2024. 

In this newsletter we elaborate on the effects this planned reform will have on businesses.

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The impact of the renovation obligation on real estate deals

On 1 January 2022, the first set of renovation obligations entered into force for non-residential buildings in Flanders. One year later, on 1 January 2023, similar obligations entered into force for residential buildings. Energy efficiency labels, minimum share of renewable energy, improved roof insulation and ban on single glazing are only a few of the obligations that could be imposed on your next purchase.

In this newsletter our real estate experts decrypt the obligations, per building type and per timeframe.

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Solar panels in a co-ownership in Belgium: some key legal issues

The ambition to boost renewable energy sources and reduce energy costs has intensified in recent years, even more since the beginning of the current energy crisis. Although solar panels have in this context become increasingly popular in the Belgian market, certain legal issues may arise in relation to their installation in a co-ownership and the sharing of the generated electricity. Our Real Estate team has reviewed the most recent legal changes relating to the “peer-to-peer” energy-sharing legislative framework.

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Law on improving indoor air quality in enclosed areas open to the public

A new federal law imposes legal requirements meant to enhance indoor air quality in public spaces like catering, sporting, retail and event venues. This law, as well as the upcoming royal decrees it provides a basis for, could have serious implications for both the operators and owners of such venues. Our Real Estate team explains what to expect. 

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The Ratios Decree in Brussels regarding charging points for electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are going to take more and more place in the traffic in Brussels. Building on this expectation, the Brussels Capital Region enacted a Decree determining the ratio of charging points required in different categories of car parks.  Office and residential buildings as well as car parks for public use covered by an environmental permit are targeted.  As each permit holder should be aware of this Ratio Decree, our Real Estate team has reviewed its main points for you.

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Ordinance limits temporarily the indexation of rents

As a result of the current energy crisis and ramping inflation, the Brussels Capital Region has decided to limit the indexation of commercial leases in the Brussels Region. The adopted ordinance of 15 December 2022 introduces a mechanism of temporary limitation of the indexation of commercial leases in an attempt to mitigate the consequences of inflation on businesses. Our Real Estate team explains the applicable limitation, the calculation formula and the impact of this new energy index. 

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Client successes

CBRE Investment Management

We advised CBRE Investment Management on the acquisition comprising the six remaining units of the logistics complex ‘MG Park Greve’ located in Copenhagen and three units as part of the logistics complex ‘MG Park Fredericia’ located in the Danish Triangle region, the latter being added to the joint venture between CBRE Investment Management and MG Real Estate. Linklaters was assisted by Plesner for MG Park Greve and Bech-Bruun for MG Park Fredericia.

Hotel Metropole Brussels

We advised the Bervoets family on the sale of the iconic Hotel Metropole Brussels. The Bervoets family has agreed on terms with Lone Star Funds for the acquisition of Hôtel Métropole SA, the company owning not only the Hotel but also several retail units on the Rue Neuve. The purchaser announced that the reopening, after renovation, of the Hotel Metropole is scheduled for the end of 2025.

La Francaise Real Estate Managers

We advised La Française Real Estate Managers (REM), assisting its client Hyundai Investments, with the sale of 100% of the shares of Anvers Luxco SARL to an investment fund. Anvers Luxco SARL indirectly owns a majority share in the Belgian headquarters of ENGIE in Brussels. The asset comprises two buildings, North Light and Pole Star, located in the North Station area of Brussels. 


Your Real Estate Team

Is happy to support you, to guide you through the measures your business will have to take, and to advise you on how your business might be affected by the new legislations.


Find out more about our Real Estate capabilities

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