The city of Brussels in Belgium is one of the most vibrant within the European Union. It is the perfect place to settle for Dutch, French, German and English speakers. Its city center is pretty small but filled with lots of culture. It is a city that is beloved by EU bureaucrats and known for its amazing and high quality chocolates. They have a population that is slightly above 20 million. Travelling through Brussels is however pretty easy. You can maneuver through the city in a short time by cycling, driving or using their efficient public transport system.
Many expats and international students have managed to make this beautiful city their home and so can you. There are however numerous considerations and information that you need to be equipped with before going to live in Brussels. In this article you will find the most important considerations and the many options for renting rooms in Brussels.
Brussels is relatively cheaper than most EU capital cities. If you are going to live in Brussels with your family you will be able to get a two bed roomed house with a garden or apartment close to the city center from between 1000 Euros to 1500 Euros. This cost reduces when you move away from the city center to neighborhoods such as Koekolberg.
Types of housing
The range of accommodation in Brussels is very varied and includes the following
- Furnished apartments
- Unfurnished apartments
- Student housing
- Shabby/ small rooms
- Shared living
Your choice of accommodation depends on your duration of stay, is it short term or long term? Furnished apartments, shabby rooms and shared living spaces will fall under the category of temporary accommodation. These are sometimes difficult to come by because subletting is illegal in Belgium. There are other options to short term accommodation such as Airbnb and budget hotels. Furnished apartments are a great option for travelling businessmen and expats on short assignments. They are convenient and save you a lot of time and hustle. They come with insurance, Wifi, cleaning services and technical support. Unfurnished apartments in Brussels are usually considered long term accommodation; these types of spaces are usually rented out totally empty. They come with no carpets, curtains or light fixtures; the onus falls on the tenant to paint and decorate their apartment. The space must however be returned to its original state once the lease expires.
Nature of tenancy agreements
Belgium has two types of tenancy agreements, short and long term. These contracts are very stable for both the tenant and landlord. Short term tenancy agreements last for 3 years while long term agreements last for 9 years. Both contracts have certain similarities;
- Deposit is charged, usually at a value equivalent to 3 months rent to be placed in a separate account from the normal monthly rent.
- Rent is not negotiable. The stated amount is final
- Utilities such as water and electricity are not included
- Signed leases must be registered at the local office of the receiver of registration
Short term agreements are generally inflexible in nature. In case you need to move before the lease period is over a prescribed dine of the remainder of the rent remaining on the contract will have to be paid.
Long term contracts on the other hand are structured in a unique 3-6-9 format which is unique to Belgium. The main tenets of this type of agreement are;
- Contract lasts 9 years
- Eviction and rent increases can only be done after 3 years
- Eviction and vacation notices should be given 6 months in advance
- Tenants are in charge of repairs and decorations but must return the house to its original state.
The above knowledge will ease you burden when moving to Brussels whether you are using a real estate agent or online property websites.