Tenants’ Platform speaks out against black list plans

The Tenants Platform has spoken out against plans by the Flemish Government to look into the possibility of drawing up a black list of errant tenants, landlords and real estate agents. The Tenant’s Platform’s opposition to the proposals forms the basis of an article that appears in Monday’s edition of the daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’.   

The Flemish Housing Minister Mathias Diependaele (nationalist) wrote in in housing policy note that “I would like to look into whether a dynamic list of dishonest tenants, landlords and real estate agents can be compiled. A list of dishonest tenants can prevent landlords being left with rent arrears of damage to their property, while a list of dishonest landlords can serve as a warning to those that fail to observe their obligations as landlords”.  

Although the proposals are still quite vague, the Tenants’ Platform that represents the interests of those living in rented accommodation has wasted no time in voicing its opposition.

The Platform’s Joy Verstichele told Het Laatste Nieuws that "Although the discussion on this issue still needs to get under way we have issues with the idea that such a list should be drawn up at all. There are certainly issues with bad tenants and bad landlords, but these won’t be solved by drawing up a black list.  

The Tenants’ Platform adds that such a list would never be completely up-to-date meaning that it would be, at least in part, useless.

"Moreover, there are better ways to deal with bad landlords. Ensure that the Housing Inspectorate can take stronger measures and punish errant landlords from the outset”.

The Tenant’s Platform concedes that there are issues with tenants not paying their rent. “However, here too there are better solutions available. Offer these people support so that they can pay their rent. Do something about rising rent prices. By simply drawing up a black list you might simply ensure that people are unable to find a home and this could undermine people’s right to a dwelling”.