Renting a house in Brussels – basic things you should know


Quite a number of people are drawn to the different countries of Europe for varying reasons. For those considering the idea, one of the top target destinations in Brussels, the bilingual capital of Belgium. The city is considered by many as the capital city of Europe because it hosts the headquarters of NATO, the EU and a long list of other European Union offices.

Life in Brussels definitely has its perks. Among other things is the stability of leasing and holding rental apartments in Brussels, especially on a long-term basis. By all standards, being a tenant in Brussels affords you a number of rights. Here are some of the most important things you should know if you are considering the prospects of life in this multinational gem.

A Stable lease system

Brussels and other cities in Belgium practice the 3-6-9 lease system which affords you a lot of stability and flexibility on your lease. The implication of this system is that a lease contract on a rental property remains valid for a period of nine years. During this time, the tenant will enjoy a stable rent for a period of 3 years during which it cannot be increased by the landlord. Also, it is impossible for the landlord to evict you within this three year period. He can only do so after the first three years. In this case, you will be served an advance notice of 6 months. The landlord will also have to pay a fine of 6 or 9 months’ worth of rent as the case may be if he wants to evict you before the 9 years expiration date of your contract. This stability and flexibility is for both tenants and landlord and is one of the things to love about Brussels.

Other alternatives

For those looking for a shorter stay, you might find it the process a little more complex. However, there are a number of accommodation options to consider as well. These include:

  • A short-term 3 years tenancy agreement: this is not as flexible as the 3-6-9 system and choosing to break the lease on either side will lead to some serious fines.
  • Housing platforms: for even shorter stays in Brussels, you can also consider.

Apartment pricing in Brussels is completely fixed. Every price quoted on rental apartments is the exact price. Landlords are required by law to list houses this way thus leaving little or no room for price negotiations in the lease process. Once a contract has been signed, be sure that your landlord registers it at the local office for registrations under the ministry of finance.

Furnishing, decoration and repairs; it is all on you

As far as renting homes in Brussels is concerned, the tenant has to do all the furnishing involved down to the carpet. In most cases, the house is completely stripped bare. This also means you will have to handle decorating the house or any other alterations you might want to make. You are free to paint or decorate the house. This gives you enough freedom to make your apartment as cosy as you want it.


Compared to many of the urban centers in Europe, living in Brussels is relatively inexpensive and convenient. While this doesn’t mean things are completely cheap, with such a friendly lease and rent system, finding and keeping an apartment should be the least of your worries.


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