Property Rental & Purchase in Brussels



Apartments and houses are common types of housing in Brussels, and due to the regular change of diplomatic and corporate staff, rental accommodation is available all year round. Look out for signs bearing the words “à louer/te huur” when walking around neighbourhoods.

Most apartments and houses are rented unfurnished. You need to provide your electrical appliances. If you see the word “Equipped” in the advertisement, it means that essential appliances such as a cooker and possibly a refrigerator are included. “Super-equipped” may mean that a dishwasher and microwave, as well as all the basics, are included.

The housing market

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Belgium and Brussels is the most expensive place to purchase a property in the country. If you’re staying for less than five years, it’s probably better to rent as it’s not worth paying the high conveyance costs when purchasing a property.

Note that in Belgium; there is no mortgage relief on income tax. You’ll also have to pay capital gains tax if you sell the property within five years of purchasing it. Conveyance costs will amount to about 15% to 20% of the property’s price, and you’ll have to pay 21% VAT on top of that.

Properties for sale are advertised in the newspapers and through estate agencies. Also, look out for “For Sale” signs that read “à vendre/te koop” when walking around neighbourhoods.

When the buyer and seller have agreed to a price, they sign a sales agreement called compromis de vente. The buyer then has to pay a non-refundable deposit which is usually 10% of the purchase price. The buyer then has another four months to obtain the rest of the money to complete the sale.

A notary (notaire/notaris) must do the actual transfer or conveyance of the property, who charges a fixed fee of 1% to 4% of the purchase price. Usually, the property must be surveyed and this will cost around €100; your biggest expense, however, will be the registration of the sale – about 12.5% of the purchase price. If you’re buying property at an auction, the notary fees are doubled and you have only one month to secure a mortgage and complete the transaction.

Property and Investment Tax for Individuals

There are three types of taxes you have to pay on your property.

  • Real estate tax is known as Onroerende Voorheffing or Pre compte Immobilier. Tax on real estate is levied on 1.25%–2.5% of the asset’s value depending on the location.
  • Municipal tax is where non-residents are receiving taxable income exceeding €2,500 from Belgian immovable property pay a corporate surtax fixed at 7%.
  • Provincial and local taxes are levied by withholding real estate tax which varies depending on location.



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