7 essential tips for tenants in the Belgian rental market

Renting a property in Belgium is a popular choice for many. However, before diving into this venture, there are several key questions and considerations to address.

moving day
Erda Estremera

1. Ensure the rent is reasonable

Before you start packing, it’s essential to ensure that the rent being asked for isn’t excessive. To make these comparisons, consider using online rent comparators. These tools provide a comprehensive overview of rent prices across different regions, helping you gauge if you’re getting a fair deal.

2. Check the contract duration

Before finalizing your move, carefully read the rental contract you’re about to sign. One primary point of focus should be the contract’s duration. Most rental agreements in Belgium are signed for a 3-year period. However, if no specific duration is mentioned, the default term will be 9 years. It’s also crucial to note the date by which the rent should be paid. Starting a lease on the wrong foot over a minor oversight can be avoided with due diligence.

3. Ensure the landlord registers the contract

The landlord is obligated to register the rental contract within two months of its signing. In some cases, they might ask you to handle this task. If so, know that you can easily complete this registration online.

4. Understand the rental guarantee

Before moving into your new place, you’ll likely need to provide a rental guarantee. This is a sum of money that will be returned to you at the lease’s end, provided you leave the property in good condition. While not legally mandatory, landlords often request this guarantee in one of two ways:

– A transfer of the total amount to a blocked account in your name.
– A bank guarantee where the bank fronts the guarantee amount, and you repay it over a maximum of 3 years.

Always discuss with the landlord to determine the best method for both parties and ensure it’s specified in the rental contract. Never pay the rental guarantee in cash or transfer it directly to the landlord’s account.

5. Conduct a thorough property inspection

A mandatory step in any rental process is the property inspection, which should be conducted within the first month of the lease and in the presence of both parties. This can be done independently or with the help of an expert. If no inspection is conducted, any new damages to the property are assumed not to be your fault.

6. Know the terms for terminating the lease

Found your dream apartment? The notice period will be outlined in your rental contract. If you’re in a 3-year lease (or shorter), you typically can’t terminate it early unless specified otherwise. For longer 9-year contracts, you can terminate with a 3-month notice. Always ensure to terminate your lease through a recommended method, with the notice starting from the first day of the following month.

7. The importance of rental insurance

As a tenant, you’re responsible for returning the property in the condition you found it, known as tenant liability. This means you (or your insurance) will cover damages like those from fires or water leaks. While tenants aren’t legally required to have rental insurance, most landlords request it. Generally, rental insurance covers personal belongings, while family insurance covers accidental damages caused by you or a family member.


Renting in Belgium, like anywhere else, comes with its set of challenges and considerations. By being well-informed and understanding your rights and responsibilities, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free rental experience.