Understanding rental guarantees in Flanders: A guide for property owners

The real estate market in Belgium, particularly in Flanders, is governed by a set of intricate rules and regulations. One such aspect that often becomes a point of contention between landlords and tenants is the rental guarantee. This guarantee serves as a safety net for landlords, ensuring they have a financial buffer in case of damages to the property. But how does it work, and what should landlords be aware of? Let’s delve into the intricacies of rental guarantees in Flanders.

Dimitri Karastelev

The essence of rental damages

When a rental period concludes, and the tenant prepares to vacate the property, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to inspect the premises for any damages. If the property appears to have sustained damages beyond the usual wear and tear, the landlord has the right to claim the rental guarantee, either in full or in part. This guarantee acts as a financial cushion, ensuring that the landlord doesn’t bear the brunt of repair costs. If the damages exceed the guarantee amount, the landlord can also demand the tenant to pay the difference.

Claiming the rental guarantee

While the rental guarantee serves as a protective measure for landlords, it’s essential to understand that it cannot be claimed unilaterally. Neither the landlord nor the tenant can single-handedly decide on the distribution of the guarantee. Instead, a written agreement outlining the division of the guarantee is mandatory. This agreement can only be formalized at the time of lease termination or later. Any clause in the rental contract that pre-decides the allocation of the rental guarantee is deemed invalid.

Resolving disputes

Disagreements over rental guarantees are not uncommon. If a consensus between the landlord and tenant remains elusive, the matter might need legal intervention. In such cases, either party can approach the court to seek the release of the guarantee.

However, landlords in Flanders need to be particularly vigilant about the timeline. The Flemish housing decree stipulates a specific timeframe for landlords to act. According to the law, a landlord’s right to claim the rental guarantee in their favor expires one year after the lease termination. This means that landlords have a limited window to address any disputes related to the guarantee, emphasizing the importance of timely action.

Tips for landlords

1. Conduct thorough inspections: Always ensure a comprehensive inspection of the property both at the beginning and end of the lease. This will help in identifying and documenting any damages accurately.

2. Open communication: Maintain transparent communication with your tenant. Discuss any concerns regarding damages and try to reach an amicable solution before considering legal action.

3. Stay informed: Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations governing rental guarantees in Flanders. Being well-informed will help you navigate any challenges more effectively.

4. Seek legal counsel: If you’re unsure about any aspect of the rental guarantee or if disputes arise, consider seeking legal advice. A legal expert can provide clarity and guide you through the process.


The rental guarantee is a crucial aspect of the landlord-tenant relationship in Flanders. It ensures that landlords have a safety net against potential damages to their property. However, understanding the nuances of this guarantee, from claiming it to resolving disputes, is vital for a hassle-free rental experience. By staying informed and adopting a proactive approach, landlords can ensure a smooth rental journey, safeguarding their property and financial interests.