Extra Costs to Consider When Renting in Belgium

extra costs to consider when renting in belgiumIf you are preparing to rent out an apartment or home to live in Belgium there are some additional things that you will probably want to take into consideration before doing so.

Depending on where you are moving from there may be some things about renting out a place in Belgium that you may not be accustomed to. For instance you will be expected to pay common charges each month that are in addition to your monthly rent for your new place in Belgium. You will also need to adhere to the house rules. And you may not be used to taking inventory of the items in a place when you move in but you will need to do that in Belgium or it could get costly for you when you move out of the place you are renting and get stuck with a bill for things that were never in the apartment to begin with.

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Common charges are a monthly fee that you will expected to pay each month in addition to what you will already be paying for your rent. The common charges are for the services or amenities that you share with your fellow renters or neighbors in your building or within the same complex as you. Common charges usually amount to an additional 10 to 20 percent on top of your base rent. You have no say in the amount that you are charged as there are no tenant associations in Belgium. Usually when you move out your landlord will hold your security deposit to make sure that your common charges have been settled, which can take up to a year. The fees that you pay go towards the cost of repairs and maintenance to the common areas of the building, the cost of the building manager or concierge and water, sewage and other shared utilities. At the end of each year the actual cost of each of the services is assessed and each tenant is charged a share based on size of apartment and anything else listed in the lease agreement. If it comes up that you have paid too much then you are given a credit on the next payment. However if it shows that you have not paid enough then you will be asked to pay the difference. Regardless your estimated monthly payment is adjusted accordingly the next year.

When you move into your new place you will be given a list of house rules, which are enforceable by law. Common rules include things like not being able to store your bike in the hallways or making noise late at night. Rules may also restrict the color of curtains that you can use or give a rotation of cleaning duties for the building if there is no building manager.

When you move into your new place it is a good idea to do a complete inventory of the place as well as the condition that everything is in. If you do not note anything that is missing or damaged then you can be charged for it when you move out.