Recently, the Brussels Housing Code was significantly amended, which means that landlords in Brussels will have to deal with a lot more onerous obligations. 

We explain for you what these are.

Brussels housing - Seeds of Law

1. Pre-contractual information

From now on, as soon as a landlord puts his premises up for rent, i.e. in the pre-contractual phase, the following information must also be given : the living surface and the reference rent as well as the type of lease, and the amount and the date of payment by the last tenant for short-term leases. 

This means that this detailed information must already be mentioned in an advertisement, such as on a poster, website or on social media.

2. Form of the lease contract

It will no longer be possible to forbid a companion animal. Such a clause will be considered as unwritten.

The lease agreement may, however, stipulate that companion animals should not cause nuisance and in particular aggression. It is also possible to limit the number of animals or species that can be kept based on acceptable reasons.

The tenant is now required to take out fire insurance, unless otherwise agreed.

Payments may only be made to a bank account, either by deposit or wire transfer. A bank account number must therefore also be mentioned in the lease agreement.

3. Short-term

A short term lease means all leases concluded for under three years. 

Under the Brussels lease regulations, it was possible to provide for several renewals as long as the duration did not exceed three years. From now on, this will no longer be possible. A short term lease contract can only be extended once.

Moreover, short term lease contracts have a significant negative consequence. For instance, the rent of these successive contracts cannot be increased (except for indexation or the application of the rules of rent review). 

It was previously provided that this rent restriction only applied when the landlord terminated the lease but henceforth it will apply regardless of who terminates the lease.

4. Termination of the lease

4.1 Counter-termination by the tenant

At present, it is possible for a tenant to give a counter-termination when the landlord gives notice of termination for a specific reason (e.g. execution of works). This counter-notice was not possible when the agreement was terminated towards the end of the lease.

This changes. From now on, a counter notice, also of one month, is also possible when the lease is due to expire. The tenant can then also leave the rented premises earlier than the end date.

4.2 Sign a receipt

For terminations that can be made at any time, the rule remains that they start from the first day of the month following the month during which the termination notice is given. 

For all other terminations, the theory of receipt will henceforth be followed. Only the day on which the addressee is deemed to have received notice of the termination will apply. Either this will be the day of a notification by a bailiff's writ, the day on which the acknowledgement of receipt is signed, the day of presentation of a registered letter or, if by ordinary mail, two days after the day on which the letter is posted.

5. Guarantee

Not only the alternatives  to provide for a guarantee have changed, but, from now on the guarantee must be returned within 2 months. The sanction for non-compliance with this obligation is a payment of 10% on the deposit multiplied by the number of months delay.

A personal guarantee is also only allowed for student contracts, in accordance with one of the four newly provided guarantees, namely:

  • an individualised account in the name of the tenant with an FSMA-approved financial institution;
  • a bank guarantee in accordance with the standard contract of PCSW and a financial institution recognised by the FSMA;
  • a bank guarantee with an FSMA-approved financial institution that allows the tenant to compose the guarantee progressively;
  • a collateral with an FSMA-approved financial institution in the name of the tenant.

6. Delay in payment

Late payment interests may not exceed the statutory interest rate. Other penalty clauses are forbidden.

Any notice of default should mention the account number for payment.

7. Costs and charges

Only the costs and charges stipulated in the lease contract may be charged in the future. When the actual costs are charged, an annual statement must be submitted.

Each invoice must also mention that the tenant has the possibility of inspecting the supporting documents free of charge.

8. Transfer of lease

The rule used to be that a transfer of a lease was deemed to be refused if the landlord failed to respond to the draft transfer. 

That rule is now reversed. If the landlord does not respond within 30 days, he is deemed to have accepted the transfer of the lease. 

Therefore if a landlord wishes to avoid a change of a (solvent) tenant, he must respond in a timely manner.

9. Housing quality standards

Regardless of the form of the contract, even if the property is provided free of charge or offered for rent, the housing quality standards will have to be met. These rules therefore apply to any legally occupied property.

When a lease is dissolved at the landlord's expense or in case of expiry or nullity of the lease due to uninhabitability, the Brussels legislator provides that the court can order the landlord to bear the costs of rehousing the tenant. These costs are defined non-exhaustively as the cost of evacuating the property, the cost of transporting the furniture, the cost of installing it in the new home and the difference between the old and new rent up to the amount of the non-excessive rent for a maximum period of 18 months.

The sanction is therefore very severe.

10. Entry into force

The ordinance making these changes to the Brussels Housing Code provides that the general rule for entry into force is from 1 November 2024.

It does distinguish between articles that will apply to current contracts and articles that will only apply to contracts concluded or renewed after this ordinance  comes into force.

To know more about how these new regulations will affect your new but also your ongoing leases, do not hesitate to contact the specialists at Seeds of Law; +32 (0)2 747 40 07 or

Would you like to learn more about this subject?

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Ulrike Beuselinck

Ulrike Beuselinck