There have been real terms rises in rents for years. However, the Flemish Tenants Association says "But now rents have reached unaffordable levels.” A growing number of people are unable to find a flat or house for less than 400 euros/month.
This is especially a problem for single people in low paid jobs. What’s more “Even finding somewhere for 500 euro/month is starting to become difficult”, Mr Inslegers said.
The problem is especially acute in Flemish Brabant where the majority of tenant in private rented accommodate pay more than 700 euro/month.
"This can hardly lead to anything else but the pushing out of those on lower incomes”, the annual report concludes.
Meanwhile, Antwerp province shows a mixed picture with some areas still having rented properties at fair rents. However in areas along the Dutch border, the migration of wealthy people from the Netherlands has served to push up rents.
"If you look at the figures for the past four years they really are alarming”, the Flemish Tenants Association concluded.
As those on lower incomes are finding it more difficult to find rented accommodation, they can’t be too choosy.
"As a result they are signing unacceptable contracts and end up in unacceptably poor quality accommodation.
The Tenants Association has called on politicians to make rent subsidies dependent on a fair rent being charge. It also calls for more social housing to be built to ease pressure on the rental market.