Published on: 8 February 2023
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How to Find Accommodation in Belgium?
You have decided to settle in Belgium? The European political center is at your disposal. Multicultural and modern, it is a country that has managed to preserve the charm of its traditions. Students, young professionals, but also families will find the ideal balance there! Just like everywhere else, the main concern for setting down roots there remains housing. How to find accommodation in Belgium? What are the specifics to know? Are there any traps to avoid? Studapart takes you through it step by step.
Finding Accommodation in Belgium: The Language Question
At first glance, Belgium may seem like a small country. But the region you choose to live in is very important, especially when it comes to language. If you are fluent in French, Dutch (Flemish) and German, let your heart lead the way! Otherwise, you will probably prefer to live in a city where you can make yourself understood. To remind you, the linguistic distribution is as follows:
- In the north (Flanders), the predominant language is Dutch (Flemish)
- In the south (Wallonia), most of the inhabitants speak French
- In the east, you'll find regions with a German majority
- In Brussels (the capital), most people are bilingual (French and Flemish)
Also note that Belgians are quite comfortable speaking English.
Whatever type of accommodation you're looking for, you'll easily find what you're looking for in one of the 581 municipalities in Belgium.
How Much Does Accommodation Cost in Belgium?
Before deciding where to stay in Belgium, it is interesting to know the general trends of the real estate market. The Belgian real estate market seems to be little affected by the economic crisis, displaying relatively stable figures, especially in terms of renting.
It is mainly the characteristics of the accommodation (geographical location, size, etc.) that vary accommodation prices. For example, in Wallonia, the average rent for tenants households is around 700 euros per month. In Flanders, this figure is over 800 euros. In Brussels, the average rental price is more than 1000 euros per month. A university dormitory will always be cheaper than a studio, which itself will be more economical than an apartment, etc.
It's up to you to determine the ideal compromise between your needs and your budget. A family with a car will probably prefer a large property with a garden on the outskirts of town. A student who lives alone and depends on public transport to get around will certainly prefer a studio downtown.
How to Find Accommodation in Belgium: Choosing the Right Rental Agreement
In Belgium, there are different types of rental agreements to choose from depending on your situation. In any case, it is recommended to opt for a written lease. The legislation allows for verbal leases, but it is still better to have an official document as well as a detailed inventory of the property.
The "3 6 9" Lease
The "default" rental contract is ideal if you want to make the housing your primary residence. It is referred to as the "3 6 9" because it is a fixed-term lease agreed for 3, 6 or 9 years. You are committed to the landlord for the agreed period. If you want to terminate the contract before its term, you will have to give several months notice, or else pay damages.
The Common Law Lease
For temporary accommodation in Belgium, the ideal option is a common law lease. This rental contract allows for more freedom when setting clauses than with a "3 6 9" type lease. It is valid for an indefinite period of time. To leave the premises, a simple notice (from 1 to 6 months) is enough. On the other hand, the accommodation is considered as a secondary residence.
This is the perfect solution to discover Belgium and decide if you want to settle there long term. This approach also works for getting your first foothold and visiting several properties until you find the one that will become your home.
The Student Lease
For accommodation in Belgium when you are a student and need a short lease, the ideal is to opt for a student lease. This renewable rental contract commits you (and the landlord) for 10 to 12 months, which is the length of an academic year. The only condition to benefit from this solution is to prove your student status by presenting a certificate.
The Room Rental Lease
Are you moving in with several people or looking for an especially economical and friendly housing solution? Rooming with other people might be the way to go. This solution is accessible through a classic lease accompanied by a “roommate agreement”. This document commits the different roommates and describes their individual responsibilities. There is also a lease specifically designed for this need. In this case, all occupants of the dwelling sign the same rental contract. It is then the arrangement with the landlord that prevails.
Do you still have doubts about the best approach to housing yourself in Belgium? Feel free to contact Studapart's multilingual teams. We are here to provide personalized answers and support you through every step of your rental process. Thanks to our platform, take advantage of an ultra-convenient solution to find your next home and get everything organized, even from a distance!