At least half of the banks in Belgium do not grant tenants a loan for the rent guarantee, while they are obliged to do so. According to a study by the University of Ghent. Banking federation Febelfin does not agree with the figures, but researcher Sierge Van Hale indicates that he has received many e-mails from customers who have simply been told by their bank that loans are never provided for the rent guarantee. However, there is a legal obligation for the provision thereof, so that this should not occur.
The banks have been obliged for 8 years to lend their customers money for a rental guarantee. An own investigation with mystery shoppers and a practical test shows that 26% of the banks indicate that they never grant loans for this. In addition, 18% of the banks do not respond to an e-mail request and slightly more than half ask for more information or an appointment; it may seem possible there to take out a loan for the rent guarantee.
Banks do not comply with obligation
Banks do not seem to adhere to the agreements, something that spokesman Bert Inballer of the Flemish tenant unions does not surprise. According to him, they have already done such a study in the past and the results were more or less the same. Various banks have not complied with the obligation to provide from the outset, while other banks have been struggling for some time and therefore do not put themselves at the service of the customer.
The bank guarantee is very important for many tenants on the other side. Tenants often have to pay a deposit from an earlier home that they have not yet received back, while they also pay removal costs and have to pay rent in the first month. When a customer wants to borrow money for the rental guarantee and subsequently receives a negative answer, financial problems easily arise.
Unreasonable requests to borrow money
Banking federation does not agree with the accusations, the organization has doubts about it. The Secretary-General indicates in any case that banks may refuse unreasonable requests, which are often the case. For example, someone with an income of a thousand euros per month who wants to hear a home of eight hundred euros a month is not eligible. In that respect, the banks appear to be unaware of the problems for the time being and there is little chance that changes will occur quickly.