Entry into force of the Flemish Real Estate Code on 1 January 2015

Pursuant to the implementing decision published on 16 January 2015, the Decree concerning the Flemish Real Estate Code of 19 December 2014 entered into force on 1 January 2015 with retroactive effect.

  • Why a Flemish Real Estate Code?

Under the Sixth Belgian State Reform, it was decided to regionalize the federal purchasing committees and to transfer (i) these purchasing committees together with (ii) the service of regionalized registration and inheritance duties and (iii) the Flemish service of property deeds into the Flemish Tax Authority.

  • What does the Flemish Real Estate Code regulate?

The Flemish Real Estate Code mainly regulates two matters:

i) The acquisition, the disposal or the expropriation of real estate

The Flemish Real Estate Code fully adopts the previous existing powers of the federal purchasing committees. The Flemish Tax Authority may act as a body of the Flemish Region, the Flemish Community and other various public entities and will be responsible for the acquisition, disposal and expropriation of real estate for the aforementioned entities.

ii) Acting as a third party to authenticate acts

The powers of the Flemish Tax Authority, which acts as a third party to authenticate acts, are adopted in the Flemish Real Estate Code whereby the types of act which may be passed are defined in a more precise and clear manner.

An interesting possibility introduced by the Flemish Real Estate Code is that the act may be passed both in paper and in non-hard-copy form. Furthermore, the acts may be signed by both hand and electronic signature.

Despite the fact that the Flemish Tax Authority is only authorized to act in the event the property subject to the act is situated in the Dutch-speaking region in Belgium or in the bilingual region of Brussels-Capital, all passed acts provide legal evidence and are enforceable throughout Belgium.

In the long run, the Flemish Real Estate Code will be expanded with a regulation concerning expropriations.