Understanding compensation rights for delayed apartment deliveries in Belgium

Purchasing a property is a significant investment, and when you buy an apartment off-plan, the anticipation of seeing the final product is immense. However, what happens if there are delays in the completion of your new apartment? In Belgium, there are specific laws and regulations that protect buyers in such situations, ensuring they are compensated for any inconvenience caused by these delays.
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The Breyne Law: A Buyer’s Safety Net

When you buy an apartment off-plan in Belgium, the "Breyne Law" or "Loi Breyne" usually applies. This law mandates the developer to include a series of clauses in the notarial deed. One of the essential clauses in the contract specifies the date by which the apartment will be ready and the compensation you are entitled to if there’s a delay.

Compensation Minimums

The Breyne Law also outlines the minimum compensation amount in case of a delay. This compensation should be at least equivalent to the rent you would pay for a similar property to the one you’ve purchased. For instance, if the contract states that you’re entitled to a compensation of 25 euros per day, but the monthly rent for a similar apartment is 1,000 euros, you have the right to demand more than what’s stipulated in the contract!

If you notice that the developer isn’t adhering to the agreed timeline, it’s crucial to send them a registered letter and claim the delay compensation. However, it’s essential to determine whether there’s an actual delay, as sometimes there can be valid reasons for the hold-up.

What if the Breyne Law doesn’t apply?

In cases where the Breyne Law isn’t applicable, the contract doesn’t have to contain a mandatory clause regarding the final date by which the apartment should be ready. In such situations, the developer or contractor, unless otherwise agreed upon, should complete the apartment within a reasonable timeframe. If there are delays, you can claim compensation for the actual damages caused by the delay, but you’ll need to provide evidence of these damages.

Tips for Protecting Your Investment

1. Stay Informed: Always keep yourself updated about the progress of the construction. Regularly visit the site and maintain open communication with the developer.
2. Document Everything: If you notice any discrepancies or delays, document them. Take photos, keep a diary of events, and save all correspondence with the developer.
3. Seek Legal Advice: If you believe your rights are being infringed upon, consult with a real estate attorney familiar with Belgian property laws. They can guide you on the best course of action.
4. Negotiate: Before resorting to legal measures, try to negotiate with the developer. They might offer you a better compensation deal or expedite the construction process.


Purchasing an apartment off-plan comes with its set of challenges, but being informed about your rights and the laws in place can make the process smoother. The Breyne Law in Belgium offers a protective framework for buyers, ensuring they are not left at a disadvantage if there are construction delays. By understanding these regulations and staying proactive, you can ensure that your investment is secure and that any inconveniences are adequately compensated.