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Renting contracts issue , please give any advice . Thanks .

Question

The email from Landlord :
----------Please be aware that we attempted to arrange a face to face meeting with you on several occasions by phone and by email to have an open discussion but you declined the offer stating that you were not available to meet and prefer communication by email or letter.
I never agreed to what you stated in your email to “renew the same contract without changes”. This was a proposal from your side, which I did not accept. I believe you need to have 2 parties agreeing in order to have a contract.
I wanted to inform you in person that the new contract would be in accordance to the Belgian law which allows the landlord to invoke an annual increase of the rent based on the cost of living index, which I believe is reasonable. What you proposed in your email is not in accordance to the law, therefore I could not agree to your proposal. Since there was no agreement on either side and your repeated refusals to meet in person to discuss the matter, I had no option but to follow your directions and communicate with you in writing that there is no agreement between the two parties and that the lease would end.
If you are willing to accept the same contract but with the amendment for the annual rent adjustment based on the Belgian Index, I believe we can come to an agreement for two parties.
ANSWER from Tenant:
---------- Thanks for e-mail but i think that everything is clear in our letter.
So, if you have any problem please contact a lawyer. We was offer you to arrange a situation on good ways for both parties.
For the reasons explained on our letter, the contract was made renew automatically with the same conditions and same rent. Please contact with the agency in the good way.
We prefer to arrange this situation without the justice but If you insist on throwing us illegally, we will have to go to specialists. The deadlines have not been met on your part. Remain at your disposal,

Thanks you very much to everyone who can give us an advice where should we do as this landlord .

Answer
kasseistamper Nov 16, 2017 10:50

A landlord may raise the rent each year in accordance with the cost of living index. That is the law.
That protects the tenant as the rent may not be raised by MORE than the cost of living index. And it protects the landlord who does not lose out because the cost of living - over which he has no control - has risen.

Answer
becasse Nov 16, 2017 10:54

Furthermore, the ability of the landlord to make a cost of living increase is strictly prescribed and if he/she fails to follow the rules they may well lose the ability to impose that particular index increase at all.

Answer
Annamiu Nov 16, 2017 11:25

Thank your guys very much for providing the advices!
The landlord followed the Belgium living index to raised the rent which is less than 4% / year .
As we can see from the tenant's answer they are not willing to have any open discussion . What on them behavior or answer was : if you want to talk , talk my lawyer .
Should we advisory with a lawyer for this issue, or just offer with them for the same contact as they requested ?

Answer
J Nov 16, 2017 11:34

If this was a short contract, say 1-year, then it automatically reverts to a 9-year contract at the end of that year.

If there are no provisions for rent increase in that contract, then the landlord cannot increase the rent for the duration of the contract.

Your only get-out clause (I'm assuming you're the landlord here) is if the contract states that it ends at the end of the year and cannot be extended or be renewed (i.e. notice is given to the tenant in the contract itself), or if you legally gave notice to the tenant in accordance with the type of tenancy and the terms of the contract.

It looks like the tenant now has a guaranteed rent with no increases for the next 9 years. Or 18 if you forget to give notice at the end of the 9 years.

I think the tenant is right - the landlord needs to consult a lawyer and see if there's something I might have missed.

Answer
shortof Nov 16, 2017 15:01

If indeed the tenants were on a short term fixed contract (one which is typically 1/2/3 years), then the tenants are correct if you have failed to give them any notification of end of lease. They will now be on a 9 year contract.

On what is written, the tenants are correct.

Answer
shortof Nov 16, 2017 15:01

If indeed the tenants were on a short term fixed contract (one which is typically 1/2/3 years), then the tenants are correct if you have failed to give them any notification of end of lease. They will now be on a 9 year contract.

On what is written, the tenants are correct.

Answer
RPPKN Nov 16, 2017 15:50

"The landlord followed the Belgium living index to raised the rent which is less than 4% / year"

What do you mean with the "living index"? Could you give the French or Dutch name of this? In Belgium, rents can be raised ONLY according to the "health index" ("l'indice santé"/"gezondheidsindexcijfer").

As a first step, verify the rental increase you are proposing. You can easily do this with the calculator which is at http://economie.fgov.be/fr/statistiques/chiffres/economie/prix_consommat...

You just put the numbers and other required information in, and you get the new rent. As an example, if the rent was 500 euro in August 2016, a year later it could be increased to 508,18 euro.

From the 4 % you mention it does seem that you are using the wrong index and are asking for a increase considerably higher than you have the right to.

Also, as others have pointed out, if this was a short-term lease and you have not given the tenant notice as required by law, the lease has automatically converted to a nine-year lease. In any case, you would not have been able to negotiate a new contract with the same tenant, only an extension. You cannot have two separate successive contracts with the same tenant.

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