Since 2014, Home Invest Belgium has been a recognised public REIT (regulated real estate investment trust). This allows investors to access a diversified real estate portfolio in a cost-efficient and transparent way.
Regulated real estate companies (REITs) such as Home Invest Belgium are subject to strict rules and therefore form an exception in the investment field. The status is similar to that of other Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) structures.
A REIT is subject to the Law of 12 May 2014 and the Royal Decree of 13 July 2014 on Regulated Real Estate Companies and is supervised by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA).
A REIT must meet many conditions, which were created to limit the risks for the shareholder:
- the company must have a fixed capital;
- the company must be listed on the stock exchange (min. 30% free float);
- the debt ratio must be limited to 65% of the total assets at market value;
- the portfolio must be recorded at its fair value, without depreciation of the buildings;
- the portfolio must be diversified: no building (or complex) may represent more than 20% of the assets;
- very strict rules regarding conflicts of interest must be respected;
- the portfolio must be evaluated every quarter by an independent expert;
- at least 80% of the adjusted result must be distributed to the shareholders at the end of the year;
- a REIT is subject to corporation tax on its activities in Belgium at the normal rate, but only on a limited taxable base;
- there is a 30% liberatory withholding tax, which is deducted when the dividend is made payable.
For an overview of all conditions, we refer to the Law of 12 May 2014 and the Royal Decree of 13 July 2014 on regulated real estate investments.