Parliament limits rent increases in Brussels: ‘Energy crisis has drastically impacted my life as a student’
After weeks of discussions, the Brussels Parliament has decided to freeze the indexation of rent for one year, based on the energy value of the property. Rising energy prices are having a major impact on Belgian citizens, including students, who are in a vulnerable position.
Buildings in Brussels are separated into classes from A to G, according to energy efficiency, with A being the most energy efficient houses. As per the new law, landlords of houses coded A-D can now increase rents in line with the rate of inflation.
Landlords of category E buildings can increase rents by 50% of the rate of inflation.
Category F and G houses, which account for 30% of all the houses in the capital, have now been exempted from rent increases.
How do students survive in these conditions?
The energy crisis significantly influences students’ lives, according to Thomas More student Tomislav Hrastic: ’The energy crisis has drastically impacted my life as a student. In my house, the gas fees went from 160€ to 450€. My finances have become very limited and I have to be careful with every purchase. I will have difficulties this winter keeping myself warm. I have started to stay longer in my university and the library so I can charge all my batteries there.’
Some of the students living in other Belgian cities wish to have the same price regulations.’I hope the same rules will work all over Belgium soon. I live in Mechelen and my rent price increased significantly in comparison with the previous semester. I try to save energy because I’m very concerned about the energy crisis. I wear a lot of clothes in my room and sleep under a very warm blanket,’ – admitted international student, Anna Koliadnaia.
Some of the citizens renting apartments in Brussels do not pay the extra price for energy now, but they have to do it at the end of the year and that makes them worried. ’I don’t know how much exactly it would cost me to pay for energy this year and I am worried about it. My neighbor used to pay less than 100 euros a month for it but now he pays about 400 euros. That’s a really big difference in my opinion,’ – tells the Brussels citizen, Katerina Dorohina.
Text: Daria Tolbatova
Photo: Alex Vasey via Unsplash