Finding a house
There are reasonably priced, comfortable options available with regard to accommodation in Leuven, whether you want to buy or to rent.
- Decide which criteria are important for you:
- Location and neighborhood
- Proximity of facilities: school, public transport, shops …
- Type of accommodation: an apartment or a house with a garden, furnished or unfurnished
- Period: a shorter or a longer period
- Do you want to buy or rent?
- The best way to find a flat or house is to search online platforms (see below) or contact a real estate agency. You will find a list with recognized agencies on http://www.biv.be/de-vastgoedmakelaar/alle-vastgoedmakelaars-vind-je-hier (Dutch or French only).
- It is a common practice to rent short-term or temporary accommodation for a couple of days, weeks or months when you first arrive. It gives you time to explore the options, so you can make a well-informed decision for your permanent accommodation.
Renting a home
- A rental contract is signed between the lessor (usually the owner) and the tenant.
- The payment of a deposit / rental guarantee is required (generally the amount of three months’ rent).
- When you move into the accommodation, an inventory of the fixtures and fittings has to be drawn up. More info in this article.
Buying a home
- The Flemish federation of notaries issued a comprehensive brochure, in English, called "buying property in Belgium for expats" (version from November 2020).
- A provisional sales agreement is signed between the buyer and seller and a fixed deposit is paid. This step is binding.
- After a few months, the final sale takes place: the notarial act is signed and the outstanding amount is paid. Notary fees and registration fees will also be due at this point.
- Once you are the owner of a house, you will have to pay an annual property tax.
- If you rent a house, the lessor is obliged to register the rental contract. The registration gives the contract a fixed date and becomes binding for third parties.
- September and October are peak months for the rental market in Leuven.
Supplier, channels and tools
- www.notaris.be/verkopen-kopen-huren-lenen (partly in English)
- On www.huurschatter.be (Dutch only) you can estimate if the rental price is a fair price.
- www.woninghuur.vlaanderen (Dutch only)
- www.zimmo.be (Dutch only)