Rental contract (with private landlord)

In the case you do not live in an accommodation of the University of Namur.

A rental contract is a document signed by a landlord and a tenant. Rental agreements can have a wide range of forms. However, what is extremely important when it comes to this contract is to be clear about the terms agreed upon by the two parties. Below you will find a series of facts that should be agreed upon whenever you are closing a rental contract.

Note that there are different types of leases in Belgium:

  • Short-term fixed lease for 3 years or less.
  • Long-term lease for 9 years or more: this is most favourable as it can be ended any time provided you give 3 months’ notice. However, if you leave within the first 3 years, you will need to pay an indemnity of 1, 2 or 3 months, depending on when you break the contract.
  • Lifetime lease, which is for the lifetime of the tenant.

Here are the main points that you should pay attention to in the contract:

  • names and addresses should be provided by both parties, in order to have access to each;
  • rental property information should include the address and all the other relevant details of the rental;
  • term of rental includes the period in which the property is leased;
  • rent  is set in the contract and should be stated as a fixed amount, and terms stated for yearly adjustment;
  • deposits and fees should also be stated, as you usually have to pay a deposit for the lease (legally equivalent to 2 months of the rent), that will be returned to you at the end of the lease;
  • rental conditions refer to the state in which the property is found at the moment of the lease;
  • repair  and  maintenance responsibilities must be set in the contract, as it must be understood which one of the parties will be in charge of these activities;
  • restrictions for both parties should be set in the contract. For example, the conditions under which the landlord is allowed to enter the property should be stated, while the tenant should be restricted in the number of people housed and might receive pet restrictions, depending on the wishes of the landlord;
  • •termination grounds are established for the moment in which the term lease will end, whether these are before the term or at the term.

It is strongly recommended to write out an inventory of necessary repairs before the day you receive the keys. Do not hesitate to ask the landlord to add all damages (even small ones) on the document, otherwise the landlord could ask you to repair them (or pay for the repairs) when you leave the housing. This document is established in two originals, one for each party, signed by the two parties on each page.

All rental agreements specify that you have to subscribe to a fire and water damage insurance policy. You have to contact an insurance company (some banks also offer insurance policies). See the page "Family insurance" to get the list of insurance companies.

Except for housing that includes gas or electricity, you have to contract with a gas and/or electricity supplier. Depending the type of length of your stay, suppliers’ offers, and your environmental consideration (green or not), you have a choice amongst some companies. To help inform your choice: http://comparateur-energie.be/template/supplier_list (in French).

It is the same for water, but depending on your place of residence you may not choose your supplier. In Namur, SWDE (www.swde.be) is the water supplier. For other towns, ask the landlord.

Contact

Mr Jean-Paul LEONIS

Euraxess Contact Point - Researchers Helpdesk

Internal call: 4117

External call: +32 81 72 41 17

E-mail: jean-paul.leonis@unamur.be

Office (on appointment): Rue Godefroid, 5 - door 47