How to rent an apartment in Belgium

How to rent an apartment in Belgium

Finding a suitable place to live once you arrive in Ireland is one of the most important first steps in settling down. As a first step, you should consider staying in short-term accommodation for a month or two to give yourself time to settle into your new job and familiarize yourself with the area. Then, once you’ve found the area you prefer to live in, start looking for suitable accommodation.

Step 1: How Much Rent Can You Afford?

The security deposit:

you will need to make a security deposit up front – usually the equivalent of one month’s rent, but there may be two.

The rent :

rent is usually paid on a monthly basis and you will also need to pay your first months of rent in advance. So make sure you have enough cash.

Public services :

The tenant is usually responsible for paying for utilities. So be sure to take this into account when setting your budget and deciding how much rent you can afford to pay. People who live in apartments may pay a fixed amount each month for some of the utilities, but in other cases you may have to organize and pay for them yourself.

What are the utilities you can expect to pay in Belgium:

  • Electricity or gas or both
  • Waste
  • Parking (if you plan to buy a car)
  • Housing insurance
  • Internet and telephone (optional)
  • TV subscription (box, netflix, etc.)
  • Cell phone (optional)

Step 2: What do you expect from your accommodation?

You need to make a list of the things that you absolutely must have in your accommodation, for example a bathroom, a dishwasher, etc … We all have different needs, and it is imperative to determine the criteria on which you may or may not skip it.
If you have pets, be aware that not all owners allow them. This is why it is important to choose your property according to the acceptance of your pet.

Step 3: What is your favorite area?

The only way to find your favorite (and affordable) neighborhood (ies) is to visit them and take a good walk or bike ride. What types of bars and restaurants are available? Are there parks, gyms and supermarkets nearby? Make your own list of the types of places you would like to live.
Your family situation will be decisive in defining the necessary amenities nearby (school, nursery, etc.)

Once you’ve found your favorite neighborhood (ies), take a tour in the evening as well to see if you feel safe. Talk to the locals and find out what neighborhood life looks like.

In university areas it can be difficult to find property to rent in August and September as it is the start of the academic year and many students are looking for accommodation in most cases the accommodation is rented at the end of the school year to ensure
to have accommodation when you come back.

Step 4: Prepare your documents

To apply for a rental, you must provide a number of documents. Prepare your documents in advance and have them with you when viewing the property so that you can immediately file your application as soon as you find your preferred rental.

You will need copies of the following documents:

  • A piece of identification such as your driver’s license, PPSN, ID card or passport.
  • Previous rental references
  • Work reference of your current employee
  • Proof of your current employment and income


If you are looking for accommodation in an area where demand is high, take these documents with you on each visit so that you can apply immediately and beat the competition!

Step 5: Finding accommodation

Properties are generally rented by a property manager or by the owner. To view a property, follow the instructions on the advertisement, and contact the person renting the property to be able to view it. Some agents give you an individual tour hour, so make sure you’re on time.

Step 6: the visit

Realtors and owners are usually punctual, so make a good impression by attending the property visit at the appointed time.
While visiting, discuss with the property manager what you are looking for, as they may have other properties available. Ask them to contact you when they have other suitable properties on the market if the property visits