Buying a rented apartment in Belgium: what you need to know

Investing in real estate is a time-tested strategy for building wealth, and purchasing an already rented apartment can be an attractive proposition. The idea of immediate rental income is appealing, but there are certain nuances to consider when buying such a property, especially in Belgium. This article will guide you through the essential aspects of this investment choice.

Andrei Ianovskii

Understanding the existing rental contract

When you purchase an apartment that’s already rented out, it’s crucial to understand that the existing rental contract remains intact. This means that the tenant’s rights are preserved, and you, as the new landlord, step into the shoes of the previous owner.

Communication is key

Upon finalizing the purchase, it’s essential to inform the current tenant about the change in ownership. This communication should be clear and transparent, providing them with all necessary details, including where they should direct their monthly rent payments.

Tip: It’s a good practice to provide the tenant with a written notice, stating your contact details and the new bank account number for rent deposits.

Requesting essential documents

Before sealing the deal, ensure that you have all the relevant documents related to the rental agreement. These documents provide clarity on the terms agreed upon between the previous landlord and the tenant.

What to ask for:

– The original rental contract: This will give you insights into the terms and conditions agreed upon, including the rent amount, duration, and other specific clauses.
– The initial condition report: This document describes the state of the apartment when the tenant first moved in. It’s crucial for assessing any potential damages or changes made during the tenant’s stay.
– Additional property descriptions: Any supplementary documents that provide more details about the property can be beneficial, especially if there are shared amenities or specific regulations in place.
– Details about the rental guarantee: This includes documents and data related to the security deposit the tenant has paid.

Note: If there wasn’t an initial condition report established at the beginning of the tenancy, be cautious. In the absence of this report, disputes regarding property damages at the end of the lease can arise. In such cases, any photographs or documentation provided by the real estate agent can be invaluable.

Handling the rental guarantee

The rental guarantee, often referred to as the security deposit, is a sum of money the tenant deposits as a safeguard against potential damages or unpaid rent. When purchasing a rented apartment, it’s essential to address the transfer of this guarantee.

Transitioning the guarantee:

Work closely with the seller to ensure a smooth transition of the rental guarantee. This process requires the seller’s cooperation, as they need to release the guarantee to you or provide instructions to the bank to transfer the funds to an account designated by you.


Investing in a pre-rented apartment in Belgium can be a lucrative venture, but it’s essential to approach the purchase with diligence and thoroughness. By understanding the existing rental contract, ensuring all necessary documents are in place, and handling the rental guarantee appropriately, you can ensure a seamless transition and enjoy the benefits of your new investment.

Remember, as the new landlord, fostering a good relationship with your tenant from the outset can lead to a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership. Stay informed, be proactive, and always prioritize open communication.