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The Flemish Real Estate Information Platform (VIP)

The Flemish Decree of 22 December 2023 on the Real Estate Information Platform (Belgian Official Gazette of 29 December 2023) marks a further step towards the digitisation of real estate transactions.

The Decree provides further legal basis to the Flemish Real Estate Information Platform (Vastgoedinformatieplatform or VIP), an electronic data-sharing platform intended to centralise real estate information and make it available to the parties concerned. The VIP is being developed by Athumi, the Flemish Data Utility company (Vlaams Datanutsbedrijf), which is also responsible for its operational management.

Specifically, the intention is that real estate information to be requested in the context of a transfer or lease of more than nine years of real estate in the Flemish Region can be requested via a single platform and no longer via the municipalities or administrations involved (which often had different administrative practices) separately.

The platform also aims to increase the speed of processing applications. In this regard, the Flemish Government reports an average application processing time of 12 days.

The Decree stipulates that Athumi must offer a « product real estate information  » via the VIP at a cost of maximum € 36.50 (excl. VAT) per plot of land, in a secure, electronic manner and in compliance with the personal data protection regulations. The “product” contains real estate information relating to (1) the urban development extract, mentioned in Article 5.2.7 of the Flemish Zoning Code (VCRO), (2) nature, (3) environment, (4) housing and housing quality, (5) immovable heritage, (6) levies and (7) legal public utility easements. This cost should be increased by any amounts due to the respective entities that have to upload the information to the VIP.

As from 1 February 2024, all requests for real estate information must go through the VIP. Today, the platform is already accessible to notaries (via the IBOT application in eNotariaat) and real estate brokers (via RealSmart or the Flemish web portal) and the local authorities themselves, but the goal is that from 1 February 2024, all information requests will go through the platform, including those from other stakeholders (such as other authorities and advisers) and ultimately the citizen.

Michael Bollen, Laurius Real Estate, 19 januari 2024