How to successfully reside in Brussels ?

Finding accommodation in Brussels is often a challenge. The capital is very popular and places are scarce and often expensive.

However, there are ways to find cheaper accommodation or to defend your rights if they are not respected. 

How to find an accommodation in Brussels ?

There are several types of accommodation in Brussels.

  • Private accommodations: To be searched for in ads and websites (VLAN newspaper, posters, websites or Facebook pages etc.). Rental price is freely fixed by the owner.
  • Semi-private accommodations: Some Social Real Estate Agencies (French Acronym AIS) propose accommodations to persons with low income. The agency takes the accomodation’s management in charge. Registration to one of the 23 AIS in the Brussels Region is possible.
  • Public accommodations : City properties/Housing Management Service. CPAS building stock. Registration is possible via a form or in an agency. Everyone can registrate.
  • Social accommodations : Public accommodations destined to persons whose revenues do not exceed a certain amount. Only one registration is needed for all Brussels’ communes via the original request form.


It is strongly recommended to visit the accommodation thoroughly before signing any lease agreement.

Types of lease agreements

A lease agreement is a contract between the lessor (often, the owner) who leases his property to the lessee for a certain amount of time, in return for a price (rent). The lease agreement must always be written, copied three times and signed by all parties. However, oral (non-written) lease agreements may happen : it is then an automatic 9-year lease contract.
Proof of an oral lease agreement are : proof of rent payment, occupation of the premises or any other written proof (to keep preciously). We however advise you to have a  written and signed lease agreement!

Very short-term lease agreement :  It’s a contract concluded for a less than 6 months period. Neither the lessor nor the lessee can terminate a very short-term contract.

Short-term lease agreement : This contract is concluded for a 3 year maximal period. This lease can be extended provided the total length of the various contracts does not exceed 3 years. Should the lessee stay in the accommodation beyond 3 years (with the owner’s consent), this contract then becomes a long-term contract (9 years).

Long-term lease agreement : This contract is concluded for a period ranging from 3 years and 1 day to 9 years.

A new house ? Some key elements to keep in mind

  • A 3-copy written lease agreement is mandatory. Should the lease agreement be oral, it shall then be deemed a 9-year lease.
  • Rental deposit : must be blocked on a bank account.
  • Opening of the counters (water, gas, electricity) : Make sure you take note of the indexes upon entry into the accommodation.
  • State of the premises: must be signed by the lessee and the lessor when entering and leaving the accommodation.
  • The lessee must pay the rent, which includes individual and common charges.
  • « Housing & Fire » insurance : Not mandatory unless stated in the lease agreement, but highly recommended nonetheless !
  • To protect the lessee, the lease agreement must be officially registered by the lessor.
  • To terminate a lease agreement : always send an advance notice (via registered mail) even if contract reaches its final term.

Waste sorting

Waste sorting and respect of public cleanliness are mandatory in the Brussels region. Citizens must abide by waste collecting days, must clean their sidewalks and must not throw their waste onto the public roadways. Waste sorting is as follows :


  • Yellow bag: paper & cardboard (newspapers, flyers etc.)
  • Blue bag : plastic waste (Bottles, cans, tins, milk or drink boxes, etc.)
  • Orange bag : food waste (meals, tea bags, coffee etc.)
  • Green bag : garden waste (branches, dead leaves, wilted flowers, grass etc.)
  • White bag : any other waste…


Glass waste are also recycled. You must deposit them in a glass bubble bin and sort them out according to their colour.

Household bulky waste (washing machines, old matrasses, TV, etc.) may be deposited in a Recypark.


Search for Accommodation :

Social Real Estate Agencies : https://www.fedais.be/

Public Service Real Estate Agencies : https://slrb-bghm.brussels/fr/devenir-locataire

Land Management per Commune : https://1819.brussels/infotheque/implantation/coordonnees-regies-foncieres-commune-bruxelloise

Waste Sorting :



Regional Public Service for Housing in Brussels : https://logement.brussels/louer/bail/

Housing Fund : Renting aid services, rental deposit, mortgage loan : https://fonds.brussels/fr

Specialized Associations in Case of Problems with Accommodations or Owners :


Brussels Capital Region allows various renting aids to households : Financial aid, availability of accommodations and specific interventions (against insalubrity, against discrimination etc.).



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