Selling property in Belgium: understanding spousal consent

When it comes to selling property, especially in a country like Belgium with its unique legal framework, understanding the nuances of ownership and consent is crucial. One such nuance is the role of spousal consent in property transactions. Let’s dive deep into this topic to ensure you’re well-equipped when making property-related decisions.
couple home

Joint ownership and the need for mutual consent

If you and your spouse jointly own a property, both of you must agree to sell it. This mutual consent ensures that both parties’ interests are protected and that neither party can unilaterally make decisions that could impact the other’s financial well-being.

Exceptions to the rule

While joint ownership requires mutual consent, there are exceptions when only one spouse owns the property. Typically, if you’re the sole owner, you wouldn’t need your spouse’s agreement to sell. However, things change when the property in question is the family home. In such cases, even if you’re the sole owner, your spouse’s consent becomes mandatory for the sale.

On the other hand, if the property is an investment asset, you can make the decision independently. Similarly, if the property is a secondary residence used occasionally by the family, like a beach apartment or a vacation home abroad, your spouse’s consent isn’t required, regardless of your marital contract.

What if your spouse disagrees?

Disagreements can arise, especially when significant assets like property are involved. If your spouse refuses to consent to the sale, you’re essentially stuck. However, there’s a legal recourse available. You can approach the court, which will then determine whether your spouse’s refusal is justified. Depending on the court’s assessment, you might be granted permission to proceed with the sale.

Cohabitants and property sales

The dynamics change slightly for cohabiting couples. If you and your partner are in a de facto cohabitation, meaning you live together without any legal formalities, you don’t need your partner’s consent to sell properties you own. However, if you’re in a legal cohabitation arrangement, the rules align more closely with those for married couples, requiring mutual consent for property transactions.


Understanding the intricacies of property sales, especially in the context of marital and cohabitation statuses, is essential for smooth transactions. It ensures that all parties involved are on the same page, preventing potential legal disputes down the line. If you’re considering selling a property in Belgium, it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal expert or real estate professional familiar with local regulations. They can guide you through the process, ensuring all legal requirements are met and that your interests, and those of your spouse or partner, are protected.

Final thoughts: Property transactions can be complex, especially when multiple parties are involved. By being informed and seeking expert advice, you can navigate the process with confidence, ensuring a successful and hassle-free sale.