Understanding rental guarantees when buying a new apartment in Belgium

Purchasing a new apartment is a significant financial commitment, and when sellers offer a "rental guarantee," it can seem like an attractive proposition. However, it’s essential to understand that not all guarantees are created equal. Before making a decision, it’s crucial to delve deeper into what these guarantees entail and how they can impact your investment.

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Why are rents "guaranteed"?

Real estate sellers sometimes use rental guarantees as a selling point to entice potential buyers. On the surface, this assurance might seem appealing, as it suggests a steady income from the property. But one must ask: Why are these rents guaranteed, and how is the cost of this guarantee reflected in the property’s price?

Lack of specific legal regulations

Belgian law doesn’t have specific regulations concerning rental guarantees. The scope of such a guarantee largely depends on the agreement made with the guarantor. If you’re considering a property with a rental guarantee outside Belgium, it’s vital to check if the country has specific legal rules regarding this.

Every guarantee is unique

It’s essential to have the guarantee details in writing. Thoroughly read the proposed guarantee before making any decisions. If any terms are unclear, consult someone with adequate legal knowledge. Check the exact duration of the guarantee, the assured amounts, and the conditions under which the guarantee is granted. For instance, you might not have a say in choosing the tenant or might need to meet specific conditions when setting up the property.

Who’s providing the guarantee?

It’s crucial to know who’s offering the guarantee. Check if the company providing it is financially stable, especially if the guarantee spans several years. For Belgian companies, you can review abbreviated balance sheets on the National Bank of Belgium’s website. You can also request a financial report from a commercial information bureau. However, even with this data, there’s always some uncertainty regarding the guarantor’s financial situation.

What if you sell the property?

If you’re buying a property with a rental guarantee, it’s essential to know if this guarantee will still apply if you later sell the property, gift it, or if it’s passed on to heirs after your demise. While the right to the guarantee might continue in such cases, specific contractual clauses might dictate otherwise. Again, always read the terms before signing anything.

Claiming the guarantee

The guarantee might have specific conditions about how and when you can claim it. For instance, you might need to request the guarantee within a particular timeframe or send a specific type of letter. It’s crucial to adhere to these conditions strictly. If the guarantor doesn’t pay as promised, you might need to approach a court. If the property is abroad, you’d likely have to deal with a local court.


While rental guarantees can be an attractive proposition, it’s essential to approach them with caution. Understand the terms, know the implications, and always be prepared for potential challenges. By being informed, you can make the best decisions for your real estate investments in Belgium and beyond.