You will need a rental guarantee in order to rent the place where you would like to live.
The landlord will want the rental guarantee to be set up before handing over the keys. A rental guarantee is a deposit that is made upon signing for a rental contract that makes sure the landlord is compensated for any property damages when you depart.
Types of Rental Guarantees
The amount of the guarantee will be indicated by your landlord, but is maximum 3 months' rent. The different types of rental guarantees possible are as follow:
- a blocked savings account (at a bank) with an amount equaling maximum 3 months’ rent. Both the tenant and the landlord will need to sign a document in order to open this account, however the deposit stays in the possession of the tenant until he leaves the property.
- a bank guarantee with the sum of maximum 3 month's rent. This method is not often used. Basically it is an option if you cannot pay the guarantee up front in one payment. If you use this method, the bank acts as your guarantor and you will pay the bank monthly installments (for a maximum of 3 years).
- or a financial investment instrument worth an equivalent of maximum 3 months' months’ rent. If you want to pay your rental guarantee in installments, the rental deposit is then equal to 3 months' rent (see this link for more info in Dutch).
- Check with the real-estate agent, landlord, or in the rental contract for what is needed as a rental guarantee (method, amount, etc.)
- Contact a bank – you’ll need the rental contract (lease contract), or a scan of it, for the opening of a blocked account. You can do this online if you want.
- Banks will need an ID from you. If this is a foreign ID, they will also need your last legal address and a confirmation that you are coming to live in Belgium (a work contract for example).
- Once all the documents have been provided, count on 2 working days for the rental guarantee to be produced (a week if it concerns a bank guarantee).
- You will have to transfer the agreed amount of money to the account (typically 2-3 months’ rent) before it is operational.
Getting your deposit back
When leaving the rented home, you may claim your money back. You will receive the full amount if you leave the home in good order at the end of the rental period. There will typically be an incoming survey and an outgoing survey of the rented home to reflect that.
To get your deposit back from a blocked account you will need a signed agreement from your landlord indicating that the lease has ended (this could be a letter from your landlord or a form from your bank).
Please verify your rental agreement before you sign to make sure that what is in there is in line with what you agreed. Make sure that the place you rent is indeed what you need and wanted.
Avoid paying the guarantee in cash, but if you have no other choice, then make sure you request signed receipts from your landlord (one receipt for every party involved).
Although it is technically not legally mandatory to insure your home, few people accept to take the risk by themselves and landlords often ask for it. Options available: civil liability insurance as renter, content, theft, … or even a family insurance.
Supplier, channels and tools
- Contact a real estate agent, relocator, or a bank that has special services for Internationals in Belgium for any specific questions.
- Helpful information about rental guarantee (Dutch only)
- A guide to Rental Disagreements (article in English)
Last update: 11/08/2022