Understanding the notice period for ending a rental contract in Belgium

Renting a property comes with its set of responsibilities and rights. One of the most crucial aspects that both tenants and landlords often grapple with is the notice period for ending a rental contract. When does the notice period start? What if the lease doesn’t begin on the first of the month? Let’s dive deep into these questions and more.
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What does the law say?

In all three regions of Belgium, the rule remains consistent: the notice period begins on the first day of the month following the one in which the notice was given. For instance, if you, as a tenant, provide your notice on January 15th, the notice period will commence on February 1st. This rule is not only applicable to tenants but also to landlords, whether they intend to use the property for personal reasons or wish to undertake renovation works.

Leases that don’t start on the first of the month

It’s a common misconception that all rental contracts begin on the first of the month. In reality, many leases might commence on other days, such as the 10th, 15th, or even the 27th of a month. In such scenarios, the general consensus is that the notice period still starts on the first day of the month following the one in which the notice was provided.

Differing legal interpretations

Legal interpretations can sometimes vary, and the topic of notice periods is no exception. Some judges have a different perspective on the matter. They argue that the reference to the "first of the month" doesn’t necessarily pertain to a civil month but rather to the rental month as contractually set. For example, if a lease agreement became effective on the 15th of a month, according to this viewpoint, the notice period would begin on the 15th of the subsequent month.

Why is this important?

Understanding the nuances of the notice period is crucial for both tenants and landlords:

For Tenants:
– It ensures that you fulfill your contractual obligations and avoid potential penalties or legal disputes.
– Provides clarity, allowing you to plan your move and transition smoothly.

For Landlords:
– Enables effective property management, ensuring minimal vacancy periods.
– Offers a clear framework to engage with tenants, fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship.


The process of ending a rental contract in Belgium, while seemingly straightforward, has its intricacies. Both tenants and landlords must be well-informed about their rights and responsibilities to ensure a hassle-free rental experience. By understanding the specifics of the notice period and seeking legal advice when in doubt, both parties can navigate the rental landscape with confidence and clarity.