Unlike equipment leasing, real estate leasing is a complex issue that has not been legally regulated.
Real estate leasing
A financing method for real estate constructions in which the real estate construction is constructed or acquired by the lessor according to the specific requirements of the future lessee. The rights to use the real estate construction must be transferred to the lessee by means of an agreement that is non-cancellable and that does not foresee any transfer of ownership. The lessee bears, to a major extent, the economic risk in the operation by the obligation to pay the rentals. The lessee has a purchase option at the end of the contract term.
All real estate constructions used for professional purposes :
- combination of land and existing construction or to be constructed
- parts of construction (e.g. office floor)
- existing construction or construction to be built according to a long lease or a concession
Please note that the minimum required for such a contract by ING Lease Belgium amounts roughly to EUR 1.000.000
The leasing contract has to be made public by an authenticated deed (notary). The lessee enters in contract with the lessor. The contract will describe the entire operation. It will determine the various conditions and procedures upon which both parties agreed. It will mention the various guarantees, the mutual rights and obligations. It will also stipulate the term of the lease, the calculation, the payments of the rentals and their periodicity. Finally, the contract will not be complete without the following options : purchase option, option to continue the leasing or to end the operation.
Long lease deal
A long lease deal makes it possible for the lessor to own, for a certain length of time, any construction he builds on a land that belongs to a third party. These rights are granted free by the owner of the land, or against compensation/ periodical payment. All long lease deeds must be issued by a notary. At the end of the long lease deal, the ownership of the construction goes back to the owner of the land.
The contract is based upon Belgian legal dispositions or international accounting standards. Besides, the contract will qualify as :
in this case, the lessee accounts for the assets on his balance sheet and depreciates them for fiscal reasons.
in this case, the lessor will accounts for the assets on his balance sheet and depreciate them. The lessee will account for the invoices as general expenses.
Registration duties and VAT
Real estate leasing contracts attract registration duties when the goods acquired attract such duties. Registration duties will be added to the investment cost. Rentals are not subjected to VAT.
Contracts are within the application of VAT when the construction was acquired or built and VAT applied. In that case, the amount of the investment does not include VAT charges because the lessor will be able to fully deduct all VAT paid on the construction. Rentals are invoiced with VAT; this VAT can be recovered by the lessee.
Advantages of the real estate leasing
- 100% financing
- Pay as you earn
- Pre-financing is included for investment
- Flexible rental scheme
- Not subjected to real estate tax on equipment and machinery
- Off balance sheet solution