Property Alert
22nd October 2019
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Things to Know Before Renting in Brussels

When living in Brussels, there are plenty of things to do. Known for its cuisine, gastronomy and historical and architectural landmarks, there’s a whole host of places to visit in Brussels. Although getting a place to rent in what is the biggest metropolitan area of Belgium can be an exciting time, it can also be very daunting. There are a few very important things to know before renting in Brussels.

An Overview of Renting in Brussels

Brussels is home to everything from EU bureaucrats, world-famous chocolate and stunning architecture. It’s an area that boasts a unique charm and character, and there are lots of reasons as to why people are attracted to the area. In Belgium, you’ll notice that there are three main languages that people speak: French, Dutch and German. And this can make finding somewhere to live a little tricky. The thing to know about renting in Brussels is that you’re in a Dutch-speaking part of the country with English being a popular second language.

Renting an Apartment in Brussels

When it comes to renting in Brussels, one of the most sought-after property types is an apartment. They provide people with flexibility and can allow you to create a home-like feel to it. Leases typically tend to favour the tenant, which is why renting a property in Brussels is a great option for many people. What tends to be different, however, is that tenants are quite often responsible for their own repairs and improvements. The plus side of this is that in most cases you can make the apartment your own with some home comforts as it is completely your responsibility to look after the property.

In the centre, rental costs for a two-bedroom apartment can range from €1,000 to 1,500 per month. Areas that are less popular with expats come with a lower price tag and there are some bargains to be found. More upmarket places with additional bathrooms or bedrooms can be priced at around €2,000 per month. Monthly rent can be subject to change based on the general cost of living, so always speak to your landlord if you have any questions.

In Brussels, landlords are required to advertise their properties online with an accurate rental price. By law, if this is not the case, the landlord can be fined as a result. This is why your rent will hardly ever be up for negotiation.

Short and Long-Term Rentals

Throughout Belgium, a short-term rental is referred to as a contract that is three years or less. Standard contracts of nine years, however, can provide much more flexibility than people first think. If you opt for a short-term rental, you can face a penalty for not giving notice if you wish to leave before the end of a contract. The same goes for long-term contracts, though no penalty applies after four years.

Utilities in Brussels

Something to know before you rent in Brussels is that utilities are the responsibility of the renter. In most cases, they are paid separately - though some rentals may have water and sewage costs included. Other utilities, such as gas and electric for example, will fall to you as the renter. You may also need to consider housing association fees or fees owed to the commune. Make sure to ask the landlord whether these are included in your monthly rent or whether you’ll have to pay for them separately. The costs can add up so it’s always best to make sure that your monthly incomings can cover everything.

Registering Your Lease

Within two months of signing your lease, you must register it with the local office of the Receiver of Registrations, Ministry of Finance. As the landlord is legally obliged to take care of this, they will usually arrange for this to happen. However, some renters do like to handle it themselves as that way they know it’s done and dusted. While doing this, you’ll be registering your inventory at the same time. This shows what condition the place you’re renting is in before you move in.

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