Housing and Rental in Belgium

Housing and Rental in Belgium

If there is any one country in Europe that hosts so many immigrants who have even gone ahead to acquire citizenship is Belgium. An immigrant conscious about living in country where there is a likelihood of finding fellow expats can find it Belgium. But even as you intend to make the bold step of living abroad in Belgium, check out to identify a favourable accommodation. With a good housing or rental in Belgium, it is possible to have a comfortable life in the country.

A close-up on Belgium for expats

Belgium is a country with diverse culture. It incorporates high standards of living starting with top-notch housing/rental. This multicultural country is a major player in international scenes. It has anything you can look for, from edgy culture to global services. Though a small country in size, Belgium’s housing market is constantly growing. Its rental market has numerous properties to offer. Clear rules set out for landlords and tenants make the rental process in Belgium pretty flawless. This is one of the reasons expats keep invading the country to purchase houses.

Housing costs in Belgium are not as high comparing with countries like the Netherlands, and even Germany. It’s that affordability that people seek new homes in amazing neighborhoods. Nevertheless, prices are not equivalent. The offer you will receive depends on the specific area you choose a house from.

The housing/rental process in Belgium

Belgium boasts of an abundant rental market. What this means is it is well stocked. There are many properties to view. Properties are in plenty. If someone goes for a property you are eyeing, you can still find a similar one.

When looking for a rental property, start by doing it online or in newspapers. Different neighborhoods usually have ‘to let’ signs placed on specific properties. If you are not getting what you are looking for, go for real estate agents. Do this mostly if you are not familiar with the given area rental market.

The rental process can involve working with a rental agent or an estate agent. A rental agent will get you directly connected with the landlord. You have to pay some fees to the agent. After meeting the landlord, you are to negotiate the deal personally. However, if you work with an estate agent, they negotiate with the landlord on your behalf. You don’t have to pay any fees as the tenant. An estate agent will do that and also get you a property that matches your taste.

Understanding Housing/Rental Laws in Belgium

What makes Belgium stand out in terms of real estate, is its staunch tenants’ rights. A landlord has no right to evict a tenant without following due process. They must give the tenant a valid reason plus six months’ notice. A landlord that does not adhere to those terms cannot demand a tenant to move out.

A tenant is free to ask the landlord to extend their lease. If the landlord does not comply, the tenant can hand them over to a tribunal. In addition, if a landlord happens to sell their property, that should not affect the tenant. The new property owner must agree to the existing rental agreement.

What to know before moving into your house in Belgium

You are full of excitement because you have found your ideal home in Belgium. Because of the excitement, you cannot wait to move in. But you have to hold your horses right there. Once you find a house, you need to verify the following before moving in.

Rental Property Rules and Regulations

Before moving into your new home, it is paramount to know its state. How is the state of the house before you move in? This also applies to the condition you should return it. Understand what the laid down rules and regulations stipulate on this matter.

Some rules state that you must return the property to the state you found it before moving in. Ensure you check the wording stated in the tenancy agreement. This will protect you from unscrupulous landlords.

Contracts/deposits

A written contract must accompany any rental agreement in Belgium. The signing of the contract is by both the tenant and the landlord. Go through the contract keenly and agree with it before signing. Do not just sign blindly.

Rental agreements in Belgium are formally registered. Submission of a copy of the signed contract to the local registry is mandatory. That is an indication that the deal has is successfully concluded.

Deposits on the other hand are usually 3 months of rent. The deposit is in a separate account and into the landlord’s main account. Tenants are to use a bank transfer when giving deposits. Giving cash as a deposit is extremely risky. If you do not have enough money for the deposit, you can opt for payday loans.

Utilities and Bills

Get to know what bills and utilities you are responsible for as the renter. The terms must be very clear before you finish up the rental agreement. The landlord can give you a rough estimation of the bills and utilities you are to cater for. We are talking of payment of electricity, internet, water bills, et cetera.

The tenancy agreement comes with details of the bills the tenant should cover. This may include even some maintenance costs. In most cases, tenants have the responsibility to cater to the upkeep of a home.

Tenant Laws and Rights

Tenants in Belgium are usually happy people. This is because there is strict protection of their rights under the law. Nevertheless, for a tenant to enjoy these rights, the contract must be duly registered. The local authorities handle the registration. In Belgium, a well-articulated registered tenancy is highly protected.

In a case where you want to vacate the property, you must give notice and pay the penalty. This is per the directions in the contract as such you must adhere to it. But if the landlord wishes to evict you, they must give you a six months’ notice. The notice should give precise reasons for the eviction. As a tenant, you are free to report the landlord if they are not giving you fair treatment.