It does not matter whether you are a tenant or owner: your home must be safe, healthy and have a minimum of comfort. That may seem obvious, but not all homes in Flanders meet the minimum housing quality standards.
For example, in many homes there is a risk of electrocution or fire due to a faulty electrical installation. Or moisture seeps in through the roof. Many homes are still at serious risk of CO poisoning. And did you know that your house must have a working bell and a letterbox?
On the website “wonenvlaanderen.be” you will find a complete checklist for your home.
1 house in 10 is not in order
In 2013, an estimated 37% of Flemish homes did not meet the standards. In many cases these were minor problems, yet 13% of the homes had serious or structural defects at the time.
Fortunately, steps have been taken in the right direction since then. According to a study in 2018, more houses now have roof insulation, insulating glass and smoke detectors. But during on-site visits, officials still often find deficiencies.
Flemish Minister of Housing Matthias Diependaele estimates that about 10 to 13% of the houses today still have serious defects. He thinks it goes without saying that every home will meet the minimum requirements in the future: “It mainly concerns essential matters such as stability, fire safety, the safety of the technical installations and adequate ventilation and lighting. These seem elementary matters, but those things are not always in order. ”
Minister Diependaele wants us all to get to know the housing quality standards and is therefore launching a large-scale awareness-raising campaign. “We want everyone to know that the standards exist and that it is important to ensure that the home meets them.”
According to the minister, you as a homeowner will not immediately be reprimanded if your home is not completely in order. “Perhaps that will ever come again, by analogy with the points system for rental properties. But today we primarily want to encourage people to consider the safety and comfort of their home. Go through the checklist, so that you get a better picture of the areas where your house could be improved. “
Of course, interventions on your home often cost a lot of money, but the minister sees this as an investment: “You usually save in the long term by making an adjustment now. Roof insulation, for example, pays for itself after a few years. And you also get more comfort in return. ”
Want to see if your house passes the test? You can find all the information on the Wonen Vlaanderen website.